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Heldon - Heldon II - Allez Teia CD (album) cover




Progressive Electronic

3.44 | 57 ratings

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Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars For Heldon's second offering, Richard Pinhas had the benefit of a close partnership shared with guitarist George Grunblatt, who also collaborated on mellotron and some additional synthesizer. Alain Renaud and Alain Bellaiche also make some guest appearances on acoustic guitar and bass, respectively. All in all, an innovative facet in this Heldon album is the featured acoustic guitar: a couple of acoustic guitar duets were written by Grunblatt, which is kind of an odd thing in the repertoire of a project focused on electronic experimentation and electric guitar soundscapes a-la Fripp. In fact, most of the tracks are pretty much patterned in the mold of Fripp-Eno's "No Pussyfooting", and even the opening track has the title 'In the Wake of the King Fripp' - it almost seems like Pinhas wanted to make 110 % sure that the audience were aware of his major influence, so he even included a specific name in a track title. Evidently, the Fripp- Eno influence is there, but generally speaking, Pinhas manages to keep things from sticking onto a cloning level: he sees himself as a hair of a particular artistic wave and wants to develop it on his own for this Heldon project. Some of the VCS 3 layers feel closer to minimalistic avant-garde (Cage) and electronic krautrock (early TD, Cluster, Klaus Schulze) than Fripp himself. And there are those acoustic numbers that introduce a totally different sonic pallet into the album's canvas: they are bucolic, well rooted in a most conventional sense of melody and harmony. 'Aphanisis' is my fave one - I seem to notice some hints to good old Baroque in it. Even the electronic numbers contain some passages intended to be ethereal more than disturbing; there we have those soaring mellotron layers, which add a cosmic ambience as a proper counterpoint to the inherently oppressive nature of the synth and guitar soundscapes. There is also room for some guitar riffs and chord progressions that add an air of reflectiveness among all the disturbing mood that remains predominant (as in every Heldon album, indeed). 'Omar Diop Blondin' and 'Fluence' are, in my humble opinion, the most emblematic and most accomplished numbers of the album. As a whole, the album lacks some cohesiveness, and some passages may feel outdated, but all in all, is a very good sample of Heldon's artistic boldness, and more specifically, Richard Pinhas' experimental vision. An extra 1/2 star for my rating.
Cesar Inca | 3/5 |


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