Daryl Groetsch's solo project Pulse Emitter evolved from an early-2000s harsh noise act to one of the most inventive crafters of new age and cosmic music during the 2010s. Returning to vinyl for the first time since 2013's immaculate Crater Lake, 2020 release Swirlings is another prime example of his brand of gorgeous, multi-dimensional sonic-shaping. Both lush and interstellar, his compositions contain drifting, spacy melodies that unfold at a natural, leisurely pace. It might be easy to overlook just how complex his music is -- these pieces may not seem densely packed, and they don't contain many "solid" sounds, but they're always active and alive. Soft, floating arpeggios melt into waves which seem to form prismatic shapes, and these reflect other melodies which continually flow into other formations. "Space Frost" and "Empty Hold" are the two sparsest, most isolated pieces here, and can actually seem quite frightening if you linger too long and lose yourself in existentialist thought while listening to them. Other tracks, such as the more percussive "Ripples" or the gated star-shimmer of "Cloud Refuge," are more relaxing and comforting. Either way, this is thoughtful music that stimulates the brain.
AllMusic Review by Paul Simpson