Traversing the Intricate Landscape of Albert Yeh’s “Motors​/​Pulses”

Composed during times of economic and political uncertainty, “Motors​/​Pulses” transcends conventional genres with its intricate harmonies, complex rhythms, and richly textured soundscapes.

Influenced by a diverse array of electronic music genres and conceptual albums, Albert Yeh has brought to life an album that continually pushes boundaries, never settling, never pausing. Join us as we immerse ourselves in an abstract musical odyssey that beautifully reflects the unpredictability of our times.

About the Artist

Albert Yeh is an electroacoustic musician and composer based in the San Francisco Bay Area, whose music explores the emotional intersection between tonality and texture, cyclical composition, and spectral states.

His enigmatic character only adds to the allure of the music. Very little is known about the artist, however we were humbled to find out that Albert was happy to share his thoughts on his musical background, studio setup and approach to writing “Motors​/​Pulses.”

“I’ve been training in music for almost all of my life, beginning with foundations in classical music (piano and violin) and moving into rock (electric guitar) and then electronic music (guitar pedals and synthesizers). Radiohead and King Crimson were among the influential bands that bridged rock, classical and electronic music for me. From there my musical palette expanded to electronic artists like Aphex Twin and Autechre and modern composers like Stockhausen and Ligeti.”

Albert is fascinated with expanding the creative ideas and temporal processes developed by Robert Fripp, Brian Eno and Pauline Oliveros.

About the Album

Released in late April 2024 on Dragon’s Eye Recordings, a key voice for experimental music based in LA, California, “Motors​/​Pulses” by Albert Yeh is one of intricate detailing and complex modular mood. When queried about his unique studio setup for the album, Albert detailed:

“The key pieces in my studio are my synthesizers, guitars, amps and guitar pedals, alongside a small collection of microphones and my MIDI controllers. My sound material comes from my hardware instruments, but I do a lot of manipulating and resampling of sound inside of my computer until the world of the album feels cohesive and complete.”

Written between January 2021 to November 2023 and arranged and recorded in San Francisco, California, the album is inspired by the age of accelerationism, the rapid rise of machine led processes, and the inevitable breakdown of organic functions.

It’s one of deep narrative and profound soundscapes that immerse, captivate and provoke unsettling emotions. It’s worth noting that this is a personal experience, one best enjoyed via headphones.

“In this album, my modular system (comprised of Verbos Electronics modules) was the key driver in creating a framework for compositions to emerge. The sound and interface of these modules inspire in a way that feels like having a bandmate present to jam and work out ideas with. Also, I was able to find an Analogue Systems French Connection, which is featured prominently on this album.”

The album is also available on both CD and vinyl formats, and feature printed artwork by Cody Cobb. The vinyl version of “Motors​/​Pulses” comes in a beautiful 12″ translucent blue vinyl with additional liner notes. Both formats are in stock and ready for shipping via Bandcamp.

Album Highlights

Featuring highly complex modular melodies and sounds, “Motors​/​Pulses” is an album in which it’s performance is a highlight. Knowing that these exact sounds and sequencers will never be captured again in there exact form brings a sense of a truly unique art form that is highly engaging from the very first second.

“The feeling of controlling waveforms through physical technique is something that speaks to me on a very personal level.”

One has to appreciate the contrast in blending harsh dynamic tones with soothing ambient soundscapes.

Within the album, you’ll encounter tracks that skilfully intertwine these delicate intricacies, exemplified by track three, “Collapse.” Serene waves of tranquil atmospheres cascade seamlessly while robotic, futuristic, warp-bending tones ebb and flow. It’s a disquieting yet serene composition, a surrender to resistance, a tranquil release.

“…and the machines shall sing us to sleep” is track five, an eerie, unsettling piece that drifts throughout a never ending, and always expanding space.

The ominous waves of dread shift within the composition as the tonality of the electronics warp, bend and fade. The progression evokes a dystopian ambiance, culminating in a surprisingly tranquil and soothing conclusion. In the end, the machines pacify the human spirit, ushering it into a state of eternal slumber.

When asked about his personal favourite single from the album, Albert shared:

“The second to last track is called “Connection: Close (For My Father)” and its the main single off of the album. It serves as the real conclusion to the album (with the final track acting more as an epilogue). The emotional quality is fairly evident and uses some cinematic devices to heighten and evoke this feeling.”

After the synthesizer chords kick in, there’s a distinctive vintage vibe to the track, setting it apart from the rest of the album. When questioned about this, Albert elaborated:

“What made it come together for me was running the sounds through effects that made it sound like the whole track was being played on old tape through an aged tape machine. The tape texture is a key thematic element in the album. I’ll leave to the listener’s interpretation, but the use of tape (and how old the tape sounds) has semiotic meaning.”

What kind of soundscape is painted for you when you hear “Motors​/​Pulses”?

Closing Thoughts

As the album comes to a close, I’m reminded of the abstract journey I have just ventured, and the magnitude of emotions I have felt. There are albums that resonate with us on a much deeper, universal level, music that transcends the norm and speaks to us through sound rather than voice. This is one of those albums.

I find myself returning to track three “Collapse”, over an over. My imagination is alive to the sound of haunting, warped tones that are soothed by the calming of the atmosphere. There’s more to this single than I can understand, but it captures my full attention. It’s beautifully written.

“I’m relieved and proud to put this album out to the world and grateful for anyone who listens to it and is able to connect to it. I intended the album to be listened to in sequence with full range monitors, as I had an aural and emotional journey in mind that ties the whole work together. But more than anything else, I hope that this album can be a part of someone’s personal journey and help them navigate through society and life, even in a small way.”

Release Date and Streaming

The album released on 26th April 2024, in which you can now purchase the album on Bandcamp or stream on Spotify.

You can also enjoy many fascinating live performances of Albert Yeh via his YouTube channel.

Interested in discovering our artist catalogue? Head to our artist page here.

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