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- The Hollow Organ by Helm
9/10 Ant Staff review, 23 January 2014
One thing I’ve learned over all these years of buying, listening to and collecting records is to try not to have any expectations because on so many occasions I find myself becoming disappointed. Having caught two live performances from Helm and thoroughly enjoying them, as well as being bang into his records it becomes difficult to not subconsciously want something from his new releases. The man is yet to let me down in this respect and his latest, his third release on PAN and second EP for the label is another gem in his catalogue.
Opening proceedings is ‘Carrier’, the foundation of which is a gaseous drone and a 4/4 throb over which layers of concrète fuck knows what begin to spill across the sound spectrum until descending to reveal liquid bubbling electronics/ found sound and distressed machine noise all gurgling together to create a very ambiguous alien sonic environment which begs the question; Where next? Not an easy question to answer as ‘Analogues’ goes even deeper into inexplicable mysterious sonic realms with shifting slabs of panning metallic sound, unnerving tension increasing drones and cracked tectonics. The sum of which is ultra dark whilst skillfully sidestepping any evil sounding “noise” cliches. Think Stephen Stapleton at his most absolute nightmarish with a side order of shit yourself. This makes Nate Young sound like the Tooth Fairy.
‘Spiteful Jester’ juxtaposes some way down low bottom end with more piercing top end frequencies wriggling away, all the while the intensity and tension constantly increases giving the impression something really BAD is about to happen but Mr. Younger just keeps things building rather than obviously erupting into all out mayhem. It’s this sense of restraint and mastery of tension which make’s much of his work so appealing. Finally ‘The Hollow Organ’ delves further into blackened drones and all manner of unidentifiable sound sources creaking, fizzing popping and clanking away which really display the magic of Luke’s concrète techniques and his highly original sound palette. Top notch EP, but hey I was expecting that.
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