Daryl Groetsch’s style is distinguished by its deeply expressive sensibility. Few ambient composers can fit quite as much feeling into such a small curlicue of tone.
At a recent performance in Portland, Oregon, Pulse Emitter’s Daryl Groetsch sat behind a low table coaxing otherworldly noises out of a handful of devices. A few were pretty humdrum: dented guitar pedals, a Sony Walkman, a Roland Space Echo from the 1970s. Then there was an odd, homemade contraption that looked a little like a cribbage board fitted with phono jacks; stranger still was a wood plank with three long springs screwed to it, the kind you might find affixed to a screen door. While it was hard to figure out exactly how Groetsch was generating such a cosmic swirl with his little boxes, there was no mistaking the sound of those springs: They cut through the mix like the thunder you might hear in a horror film, or a nightmare.