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HELDON

Progressive Electronic • France


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Heldon biography
French band formed in the 70's by guitarist and multi-instrumentalist Richard Pinhas (sometimes called the 'French Fripp'), synth player Patrick Gauthier, drummer François Auger and scores of other musicians dropping in and out over the course of six albums between '74 and '79. Their sound could best be described as a mixture of Frippian guitars with the cold, icy prog of KING CRIMSON and the hypnotic drones of CAN over a harsh, aggressive electronic background.

Their six first albums range from fairly spacy and quiet ("Allez Teia") to brain-searing sonic attacks ("Interface"). The easiest one to get into and most recommended to neophytes is "Stand By", their strongest effort todate. It is the least chaotic and most CRIMSON-like of the lot yet still features Pinhas' frenzied/tortured guitar play that verges on heavy metal in spots, complete with growling bass and guttural vocals. In 1998, Pinhas has tried to revive the band with an album called "Only Chaos Is Real", featuring French SF-writers Maurice Dantec and Normand Spinrad (their voices digitally treated) as well as trash singer David Korn. This album isn't quite in tune with the rest, sounding more like 'punk meets techno'. Overall, the music of the original six albums is dark and cold, yet fascinating and intense. It combines the elements of the French and German schools of electronic into something uniquely. HELDON.

Fans of WEIDORJE will likely enjoy thieir material. Certainly not recommended to fans of Jean-Michel JARRE.

: : : Lise (HIBOU), CANADA : : :

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Buy HELDON Music


Allez-TeiaAllez-Teia
Superior Viaduct 2014
Vinyl$13.86
$25.00 (used)
InterfaceInterface
Cuneiform 1995
Audio CD$11.69
$11.79 (used)
Stand ByStand By
Cuneiform 1995
Audio CD$11.86
$9.28 (used)
Electronique Guerilla / It's Only Rock 'N' RollElectronique Guerilla / It's Only Rock 'N' Roll
Cuneiform 1995
Audio CD$19.30
$56.18 (used)
Un Reve Sans Consequence SpecialeUn Reve Sans Consequence Speciale
Cuneiform 1995
Audio CD$79.99
$4.99 (used)
Agneta NilssonAgneta Nilsson
Cuneiform 1995
Audio CD$29.99
$101.25 (used)
Live 1975 - 1979Live 1975 - 1979
Import
Captain Trip 2007
Audio CD$30.00
$217.00 (used)
Un Reve Sans Consequence SpecialeUn Reve Sans Consequence Speciale
Import
Marquee Inc. Japan 2012
Audio CD$35.11
$42.34 (used)
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HELDON / Agneta Nilsson ?JAPAN SHM-CD Mini-LP w/OBI BELLE-121958 USD $42.00 Buy It Now 5h 22m
HELDON / Third It's Always Rock'n Roll JAPAN 2SHM-CD Mini-LP w/OBI USD $52.50 Buy It Now 5h 42m
Heldon - Perspectives [Vinyl New] USD $21.27 Buy It Now 7h 26m
Heldon II: Allez Teia by Heldon (CD, Mar-1995, Cuneiform Records) USD $16.95 Buy It Now 1 day
Interface by Heldon (CD, Jun-2004, Cuneiform Records) USD $16.95 Buy It Now 1 day
Stand By by Heldon (CD, Jun-2004, Cuneiform Records) USD $16.95 Buy It Now 1 day
Chronolyse by Heldon/Richard Pinhas (CD, Mar-2009, Cuneiform Records) USD $16.95 Buy It Now 1 day
HELDON / Allez Teia JAPAN SHM-CD Mini-LP w/OBI BELLE-121955 Richard Pinhas USD $42.00 Buy It Now 1 day
Richard Pinhas: Promo Sleeve only [Japan Mini-LP no cd heldon dream tangerine Q USD $10.50 Buy It Now 1 day
PINHAS,RICHARD / HELDON-East / West CD NEW USD $16.00 Buy It Now 1 day
PINHAS,RICHARD / HELDON-Electronic Guerilla / It S Alw CD NEW USD $23.83 Buy It Now 1 day
HELDON-Interface CD NEW USD $16.00 Buy It Now 1 day
Allez Teia - Heldon (CD Used Very Good) USD $14.90 Buy It Now 1 day
HELDON II: ALLEZ TEIA - USED - LIKE NEW CD USD $14.26 Buy It Now 2 days
Heldon - Heldon 4: Agneta Nilsson USD $60.00 [0 bids]
2 days
Heldon - Stand By USD $60.00 [0 bids]
2 days
HELDON / Interface JAPAN SHM-CD Mini LP w/OBI BELLE-121960 USD $42.00 Buy It Now 3 days
Heldon - IV LP US 1978 Mint sealed # Richard Pinhas # Space Rock / Ambient USD $72.40 Buy It Now 3 days
RICHARD PINHAS Chronolyse orig 1976 French electronic prog lp Heldon T.Dream USD $28.99 [0 bids]
3 days
Falco- Der Komissar/Heldon VonHeute 7" A&M 1982 USD $4.99 Buy It Now 4 days
HELDON Japan CD with OBI, INTERFACE still sealed USD $48.99 Buy It Now 4 days
HELDON Stand By GP706 JAPAN LP w/OBI 067az19 USD $54.99 Buy It Now 4 days
STELLADRINE CD Heldon Richard Pinhas Man or Astroman theremin Emeralds MST3K USD $8.00 [0 bids]
5 days
RICHARD PINHAS EAST WEST FRENCH ELECTRO PROG LP HELDON rare orig '80 vinyl w/inr USD $65.00 Buy It Now 5 days
LARD FREE ~ I'M AROUND ABOUT MIDNIGHT ~ French prog krautrock Japan CD HELDON USD $17.99 Buy It Now 5 days
Heldon IV Aural Explorer Records Prog Psych LP NM USD $34.99 Buy It Now 5 days
HELDON II: ALLEZ TEIA [045775003726] NEW CD USD $16.89 Buy It Now 5 days
STAND BY [HELDON] [045775005324] NEW CD USD $15.19 Buy It Now 5 days
INTERFACE [HELDON] [045775004327] NEW CD USD $17.59 Buy It Now 5 days
French 1st Issue PHILIPPE GRANCHER Pole 0014 HELDON Besombes Free Shipping. USD $50.00 Buy It Now 5 days
Heldon - Interface Japan CD / Prog Rock USD $8.50 [0 bids]
5 days
Heldon II-Allez-Téia-ALLEZ TEIA-'75 hypnotic experimental music-new LP USD $54.99 Buy It Now 6 days
Allez Teia Heldon Audio CD USD $27.44 Buy It Now 6 days
SEALED NEW HELDON-Stand By JAPAN Press w/OBI King Crimson Magma Art Zoyd USD $39.99 Buy It Now 7 days
SEALED NEW HELDON-Un Reve Sans Consequence Speciale JAPAN 1st.Press w/OBI Magma USD $49.99 Buy It Now 7 days
Richard Pinhas Paris Concert 1976 Japan Promo only 3 inch CD Single Heldon PROG USD $89.99 Buy It Now 7 days
HELDON - Perspectives - Vinyl (limited orange vinyl 7") USD $15.12 Buy It Now 8 days
EAST Jatekok '83 LP rare Eng version Hungary prog Játékok electroni prog Heldon USD $19.99 Buy It Now 8 days
Periodikmindtrouble by Ilitch 2CD (Fractal, France, 2000) HELDON, RICHARD PINHAS USD $43.00 Buy It Now 8 days
ALAIN RENAUD same DISJUNCTA - HELDON, RICHARD PINHAS - FRENCH PROG LP EX+ USD $37.50 Buy It Now 9 days
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HELDON: Baader-meinhof Blues / O.d.b. 45 Sealed (France, red vinyl, reissue) Ro USD $16.00 Buy It Now 9 days
Heldon-Allez Teia French electronic prog Japanese SHM-CD Mini lp USD $31.99 Buy It Now 9 days
Heldon-Interface French electronic prog Japanese SHM-CD Mini lp USD $31.99 Buy It Now 10 days
Un Reve Sans Consequence Speciale - Heldon CD-JEWEL CASE USD $52.82 Buy It Now 10 days
Electronique Guerilla - Heldon CD-JEWEL CASE USD $52.82 Buy It Now 10 days
Heldon - Vol. 2-It's Always Rock'N'Roll [CD New] USD $22.47 Buy It Now 10 days
HELDON-Stand By CD NEW USD $16.00 Buy It Now 11 days
Heldon 4 IV LP Vinyl Record Richard Pinhas Urus Records France 1st Press Mint! USD $39.99 Buy It Now 11 days
HELDON Stand By JAPAN MINI LP SHM CD USD $33.90 Buy It Now 11 days
HELDON Agneta Nilsson JAPAN MINI LP SHM CD USD $33.90 Buy It Now 11 days
HELDON / JAPAN Mini LP SHM-CD x 3 titles + PROMO BOX (Interface BOX) Set!! USD $148.75 Buy It Now 12 days
PATRICK GAUTHIER Bebe Godzilla VINYL LP Record Store Day RSD 2016 N USD $26.99 Buy It Now 12 days
HELDON - UN REVE SANS CONSEQUENCE FRENCH PROG KRAUTROCK LP FRENCH COBRA ORIGINAL USD $50.00 Buy It Now 12 days
(ALAIN) "RENAUD" '75 France LP URUS meditative prog psych guitar Heldon,Triangle USD $23.50 Buy It Now 12 days
RICHARD PINHAS-East West JAPAN 1st.Press w/OBI PROMO WHITE LABEL Heldon Magma USD $59.99 Buy It Now 13 days
Perspectives - Heldon (Vinyl Used Very Good) USD $17.17 Buy It Now 13 days
Heldon - Allez Teia [CD New] USD $16.90 Buy It Now 13 days
HELDON - Stand By CD JAPAN BELLE 121961 NEW 2012 USD $78.32 Buy It Now 13 days
HELDON - Heldon II "Allez-Teia" CD JAPAN Belle-121955 NEW 2012 USD $78.45 Buy It Now 13 days
HELDON - Heldon IV / Agneta Nilsson CD JAPAN Belle 121958 NEW 2012 USD $78.78 Buy It Now 13 days
HELDON - Interface CD JAPAN BELLE 121960 NEW 2012 USD $75.60 Buy It Now 13 days
HELDON-UN REVE SANS CONSEQUENCE SPECIALE CD NEW USD $44.43 Buy It Now 13 days
Heldon Stand By EGG prog moog NM LP '79 w/insert german orig rare vinyl rare!! USD $159.00 Buy It Now 13 days
Heldon-Stand By French electronic prog Japanese SHM-CD Mini lp USD $31.99 Buy It Now 15 days
ALAIN RENAUD: Renaud 1975 LP French Prog Psych Heldon Guitarist NM Vinyl URUS USD $40.00 Buy It Now 15 days
HELDON: Allez-teia LP Sealed (reissue, gatefold cover, w/ download) Rock USD $25.00 Buy It Now 15 days
Chronolyse by Heldon/Richard Pinhas (CD, Mar-2009, Cuneiform Records) USD $20.54 Buy It Now 15 days
Heldon - Un Reve Sans Consequence Speciale Japan ver. USD $25.00 Buy It Now 15 days
HELDON Live In Paris 1976 RSD 2015 Vinyl LP 45 RPM SEALED FREE SHIP USD $49.90 Buy It Now 15 days
Chronolyse by Heldon/Richard Pinhas (CD, Mar-2009, Cuneiform Records) USD $12.79 Buy It Now 16 days
Heldon - Electronic Guerilla/It's Alway [CD New] USD $23.75 Buy It Now 16 days
RICHARD PINHAS / HELDON - SINGLE COLLECTION 1972-1980 USD $21.70 Buy It Now 16 days
Mazelle Kym/Van Heldon Quality 1 Sided 12" Vinyl Single USD $14.48 Buy It Now 16 days
Heldon Third CD It's Always Rock n' Roll oop import 1991 Volume 1 France Tempel USD $14.00 Buy It Now 16 days
Heldon-Un Reve Sans Consequence French electronic prog Japanese SHM-CD Mini lp USD $31.99 Buy It Now 16 days
Heldon-Electronique Guerilla French electronic prog Japanese SHM-CD Mini lp USD $31.99 Buy It Now 16 days
cd single RARE Armand van Heldon duane harden YOU DONT KNOW ME / ROCK DA SPOT USD $9.71 Buy It Now 17 days
HELDON?LIVE 1975-1979 3CD?JAPAN MEGA RARE CD SEALED NEW?CTCD-550R/552R USD $30.00 Buy It Now 17 days
Chronolyse Richard Pinhas & Heldon Audio CD USD $27.25 Buy It Now 18 days
FRENCH 2LP HELDON - RICHARD PINHAS / PERSPECTIVE Inc.Live76,78 FREE SHIPPING USD $40.00 Buy It Now 18 days
Peter Frumader Richard Pinhas Fossil Culture CD Prog Heldon Deleuze Nekropolis USD $7.99 Buy It Now 19 days
RICHARD PINHAS french promo 7" heldon USD $15.00 Buy It Now 19 days
HELDON / Un Reve Sans Consequence Speciale JAPAN SHM-CD Mini LP w/OBI USD $42.00 Buy It Now 19 days
HELDON: Live In Paris 1976 LP Sealed Rock & Pop USD $25.00 Buy It Now 19 days
HELDON: Live In Paris 1975 LP Sealed Rock & Pop USD $25.00 Buy It Now 19 days
Audio Advice Synthesizer Japan Vinyl LP Egg Michel Magne Patric Vian Heldon Ose USD $99.99 Buy It Now 19 days
HELDON-ELECTRONIQUE GUERILLA CD NEW USD $44.43 Buy It Now 20 days
EX/EX- !! Heldon/IV/1978 Aural LP/USA Issue USD $63.71 Buy It Now 20 days
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Heldon II: Allez Teia by Heldon (CD, Mar-1995, Cuneiform Records) USD $20.54 Buy It Now 20 days
SPACECRAFT Paradoxe LP/1977 France/Synth-Guitar Duo Prog/Heldon/Tangerine Dream USD $39.99 Buy It Now 20 days
Armand Van Heldon - New York: A Mix Odyssey 2 - Armand Van Heldon CD RGVG USD $6.78 Buy It Now 21 days
Heldon - A Dream Without Reason LP US 1976 VG/VG+ # Space Rock / Ambient USD $21.72 Buy It Now 21 days
Heldon - IV LP France 1976 EX/EX+ # Space Rock / Ambient USD $57.92 Buy It Now 21 days
HELDON/HELDON IV /AGNETA NILSSON ORIG FR USD $78.00 Buy It Now 21 days
HELDON STAND BY - 1979 FIRST PRESSING - FRANCE LP USD $79.99 Buy It Now 21 days
Richard Pinhaus-Rhizosphere-Heldon-1977 COBRA 37005 FRANCE IMPORT-Electronic-NM USD $40.99 Buy It Now 22 days
Heldon-Third (It's Always Rock)French electronic prog Japanese SHM 2 CDs Mini lp USD $39.99 Buy It Now 22 days
Heldon-Agneta Nilsson French electronic prog Japanese SHM-CD Mini lp USD $31.99 Buy It Now 22 days


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HELDON discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

HELDON top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.53 | 42 ratings
Électronique Guérilla
1974
3.41 | 33 ratings
Heldon II: Allez Teia
1975
2.91 | 25 ratings
It's Always Rock And Roll
1975
3.72 | 41 ratings
Heldon IV: Agneta Nilsson
1976
3.22 | 29 ratings
Un Rêve Sans Conséquence Spéciale
1976
3.61 | 42 ratings
Interface
1978
3.90 | 74 ratings
Stand By
1979
1.97 | 11 ratings
Only Chaos Is Real
1998

HELDON Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Well And Alive In France: Live In Nancy 1979
2006
0.00 | 0 ratings
Live Electronik Guerilla: Paris 1975-1976
2006
3.00 | 1 ratings
Live In Paris 1975
2015

HELDON Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

HELDON Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

HELDON Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Soutien à la RAF
1975
0.00 | 0 ratings
Perspectives
1976
3.00 | 1 ratings
Live In Paris 1976
2015

HELDON Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Un Rêve Sans Conséquence Spéciale by HELDON album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.22 | 29 ratings

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Un Rêve Sans Conséquence Spéciale
Heldon Progressive Electronic

Review by Modrigue
Prog Reviewer

2 stars A dream... or a nightmare?

2.5 stars

Whereas HELDON polished their musical style on their previous album, "Agneta Nilsson", this fifth opus is rather experimental and heteroclite. It displays violent, cold and chaotic soundscapes. "Un Rêve Sans Conséquence Spéciale" is also the band's first studio release to feature its definitive 70's line-up, with ex-MAGMA bassist Janick Top as a guest musician.

The first half of the record is quite noisy. "Marie Virginie C" is a dissonant electro rock track. It contains ferocious guitars, frequency generators, a gong, and souns like a machine went mad, destroying everything standing in its way. The ambient "Elephanta" is a jungle mess of electronic and acoustic percussions. It may resemble concrete music.

The second half is more listenable. The sinister and pachydermic "MVC II" reuses the electronic loop from "Marie Virginie C", however in a much slower tempo. It may bring respiration during the listen, but does not contain many variations and becomes quickly repetitive. Finally, Pinhas and co. return to their usual style with the 15 minutes "Toward The Red Line". This composition is simply one of HELDON's bests and most futuristic. Furious rock and drumming supporting dark, frenetic, hypnotic synthesizer sequences. This is the track featuring Janick Top.

Even for lovers of the band, this fifth album will divide people. Some of them will love this experimental, disharmonious side, others will skip most tracks after a few minutes. If you're looking for heavy psych electronics, only the very nice "Toward The Red Line" matches your wishes.

My least favourite HELDON studio album from the 70's.

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  Heldon IV: Agneta Nilsson by HELDON album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.72 | 41 ratings

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Heldon IV: Agneta Nilsson
Heldon Progressive Electronic

Review by Modrigue
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Interesting perspectives

3.5 stars

HELDON's best studio album of the intermediate 1975-1977 period. After the fripp-ian stop of "Allez-Teia" and the experimentations of "It's Always Rock And Roll", Richard Pinhas and co. manage to emancipate from their influences and define their musical identity. "Agneta Nilsson" marks the return of a more important use of sequences since "Electronique Guérilla", and shapes the dark, oppressive, hypnotic electronic style typical of the french band.

"Perspective I" opens the disc with a very slow, somber, spacey synthesizer-dominated soundscape. This music could be related to drone. Mesmerizing. "Perspective II" features mainly a short sharp sequence, reminiscent of TERRY RILEY. My least favorite passage is "Perspective III". A dark oppressive loop supporting a chaotic distorted guitar solo. This track has not many changes, and is a bit too long and repetitive.

As its title may suggest, "Bassong" is the intruder here. Despite its strong KING CRIMSON's "Red" atmosphere, this short pause is welcomed during the listen, as it brings respiration in the middle of the album. The 22 minutes long "Perspective IV" suite starts with an ambient guitar introduction and strange sound effects. It then reuses the sequence theme from "Perspective II", but after evolves into a very original space electronic rock jam with energic drumming. The keyboards sound even sometimes jazzy! Be careful, the ending is quite sudden. Undoubtly the best track of the record, with "Perspective I", announcing HELDON's future musical direction.

Despite weaker and lengthy passages, this fourth effort shows HELDON shaping their own somber, oppressive synthetizer-rock style. As quite representative from the french band, "Agneta Nilsson" may be a good album to start with. Recommended if you enjoy dark, claustrophobic, repetitive electronic music.

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 Heldon II: Allez Teia by HELDON album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.41 | 33 ratings

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Heldon II: Allez Teia
Heldon Progressive Electronic

Review by Modrigue
Prog Reviewer

3 stars HELDON's tribute to Robert Fripp

3.5 stars

Where as HELDON's first album was rather electronic and refreshing, the second effort "Allez-Teia" is more rock-oriented. Its violent cover contrasts greatly with the peaceful and relaxing nature of the music. More precisely, the style is very simlar to Fripp & Eno's "No Pussyfooting", released two years before. Richard Pinhas pays a warm tribute to its idol Robert Fripp here, which makes you wondering if you're really listening to HELDON. The important usage of the mellotron and VCS 3 reinforces this impression.

"In the wake of King Fripp" is oviously a reference to KING CRIMSON's second opus and its leader. A calm and soothing opener. The peaceful acoustic "Aphanisis" displays a pastoral ambiance. "Omar Diop Blondin" is dedicated to Robert Fripp. Still soft, this track is supported by Pinhas' distorted guitar. First genuine electronic moment of the record, "Moebius" features a short synthetizer sequence more typical of HELDON.

The 12 minutes track "Fluence" is the longest. The first eight minutes are mainly ambient, with sonorities sometimes reminding TANGERINE DREAM's "Phaedra". The end part reuses the short sequence from "Moebius". Enjoyable, but a bit long and repetitive. "St Mikael Samstag am abends" is more varied and interesting. This composition waeaves a mysterious, dark and spacey soundscape, with drone sound effects, guitar and mellotron. The ending track, "Michel Ettori", is a soft acoustic guitar piece, rather anecdotic.

Apart in HELDON's discography, "Allez-Teia" is their least electronic and representative album, however also their softest and soothest. Without the band's typical ramshackle, tortured ambiance and hypnotic loops, this unusual record is also their most accessible.

Let's go straight to the point: if you enjoy Fripp & Eno's "No Pussyfooting", you'll like "Allez-Teia". The reference sounds sometimes too apparent, nonetheless it can be a good entry point to discover HELDON.

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 Stand By by HELDON album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.90 | 74 ratings

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Stand By
Heldon Progressive Electronic

Review by admireArt
Collaborator PSIKE Team

4 stars If I could think of an album in the electronic/prog category, that would appeal to non-followers of this world, it will be undoubtly "Stand By", one of Heldon's best works. This one alone travels the routes, that somehow, now are such a novelty. Having listened to a lot of new bands of the after Porcupine Tree (Steven Wilson) era, I went back in my collection to re-listen to this 1979 Heldon project. I was right, this work outlined a lot of what now are considered "new" Prog genres. Outlined and predicted in those early years. Of course there is no sticking to a particular genre, but pre-defining, at least four different ones (neo-prog, post-math, post-metal, heavy-prog and brushing with the Canterburies, eclectics, and Rio/AGs, or simply Hyper/crossover). Now, that all this can happen in a 3 song album that lasts less than 45 minutes, is something to praise and recommend. This was done, of course, without that kind of irrelevant purpose. It has to do more as an outgrowing development in basically Richard Pinhas ( Heldon's headmaster) compositional skills. This record is a consequence of this and it shows it entirely. Mr. Pinhas just the year before released one of his best solo works "Chronolyze" and Heldon's "Interface". He was on a streak of high creativity and "Stand By" by luck (for us), got the best of that. Therefore each song travels simmultaneously a different route, never felt until you are there in the middle of each song, and realize that Heldon's language is covering a lot of spaces, which at the time were non strictly electronic/prog material and now could even be considered new. WOW! ****4.5 near to perfect and way ahead of its own time in the Prog world, PA stars.

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  Heldon IV: Agneta Nilsson by HELDON album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.72 | 41 ratings

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Heldon IV: Agneta Nilsson
Heldon Progressive Electronic

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Heldon's fourth studio album can be a challenging experience, even for listeners not unfamiliar with the band's extreme musical agenda. But it was here that Richard Pinhas finally distilled the influences he always openly acknowledged (the minimalism of FRIPP & ENO; the synthesized frontiers of contemporary Krautrock) into something uniquely his own.

All but one of the album's five tracks are named 'Perspective', a necessary requirement for hearing the album without losing hold of your sanity. (The odd man out is the three-minute 'Bassong': a gently unplugged cleansing of the aesthetic palate before the side-long sonic nightmare of 'Perspective IV'.) Compared to other Heldon psychodramas it's a relatively subdued endeavor, at least over the first half of the album. But the uneasy quiet of Side One (in vinyl terms) does little to mask the undercurrent of menace lurking just beyond earshot, like a slowly burning fuse snaking toward the keg of TNT hidden on Side Two.

'Perspective I' lights the match with subtle authority, underneath a near-subliminal yet melodic fog of ominous synthesizers. And no Heldon album would be complete without a nod to the radical politics of the era, here reserved for 'Perspective III', subtitled 'Baader Meinhof Blues': an act of musical agitation built around some of the most distinctive guitar work yet heard from Pinhas, improvised over an urgent, aggressive sequencer pattern. The band's range is even better revealed in the episodic 'Perspective IV', filling all of Side Two on the original LP. Two of its three sub-sections borrow their titles from the previous Heldon album, 'It's Always Rock and Roll' (1975), but don't expect to hear any similarities between them.

Hardcore Heldonistas might remember the calm, aquatic guitars of the 1975 'Virgin Swedish Blues', suggesting a gentler variation of Fripp & Eno's 'Swastika Girls'. But for its encore appearance here (perhaps meant to counterbalance the earlier 'Baader Meinhof Blues') the track becomes a cathartic, one-chord blitzkrieg of furious jamming, finally allowing the rhythm section to slip its leash and go on a bloody rampage. The medley concludes with the hyperactive 'Psylocybine', taking its name, all-too appropriately, from the scientific term for psychedelic mushrooms, and ending with the abruptness of a severed lifeline.

The schizophrenic attack of the album's latter half is impressive, but the quieter opening tracks are no less confrontational, pioneering an ambient/industrial style years ahead of their time. It all adds up to the perfect adventure for intrepid fellow travelers willing to brave the outer limits of inner space electronica, well worth the effort needed to survive it from start to finish.

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 Heldon II: Allez Teia by HELDON album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.41 | 33 ratings

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Heldon II: Allez Teia
Heldon Progressive Electronic

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Don't be misled by the cinéma vérité brutality of the cover art, better suited to a Dead Kennedys LP than to a European Prog Rock album circa 1975. The second studio effort by guitarist Richard Pinhas and friends is (most of the time) actually a surprisingly mellow, almost soothing experience.

The album saw Pinhas continuing his efforts to erect a musical shrine honoring his role model Robert Fripp, believe it or not going so far as to name the album opener "In the Wake of King Fripp" (I can imagine the Crimson King shaking his bespectacled head in polite embarrassment). The track is one of several gorgeous pieces of music here, a gently unfolding study of subtle, hypnotic electric guitar textures and understated mellotron strings.

But elsewhere the album can be almost ridiculously imitative. The oddly titled "Omar Diop Blondin" (named after a militant Sénégalese activist) is an unashamed rip-off of the title track from the FRIPP & ENO album "Evening Star", released earlier the same year. The silver lining is that Pinhas could handle his guitar (and his synthesizers) with as much sensitivity and almost equal skill as his idol across the English Channel, adding a near- Krautrock awareness of radical experimentation that Fripp himself might have endorsed.

That more Teutonic side of Heldon surfaces on the album's flip side, notably during "Fluence: Continuum Mobile / Disjonction Inclusive". The name may not have the same obsequious ring as "In the Wake of King Fripp", but it's still one of the great Industrial- Ambient synth-rock track titles of all time, perfectly matching the cinematic drone of the song itself. Even better is the dark but melodic mood piece "St. Mikael Samstag am Abends": another musical refugee from the other side of the River Rhine (a better name for it might have been "In the Wake of King Froese").

There isn't a drum within earshot to interrupt the (sometimes uneasy) calm throughout the album, and the two brief interludes of unadorned acoustic guitar sound almost alarming from such a notorious musical provocateur. You'll have to look elsewhere for the usual Heldon electroshock therapy; this one has the alluring bedside manner of a well-disguised boa constrictor.

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 Électronique Guérilla by HELDON album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.53 | 42 ratings

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Électronique Guérilla
Heldon Progressive Electronic

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Guitarist Richard Pinhas made no secret of his radical politics, and the first album from his new musical collective likewise must have sounded like an act of protest in 1974. To Pinhas, art was both a mirror and a hammer, and in this initial outing he wielded both with sometimes clumsy enthusiasm.

A few of the track titles boldly proclaimed his activism (one namechecked the head of the French Communist Party; another was dedicated to a Spanish anarchist recently murdered by the Franco government). But the music itself was even more rebellious, at least by 1974 standards: primitive electronica with (King) Crimson-colored guitar embellishment. Like Italy's Franco Falsini (main man of the band SENSATIONS' FIX) Pinhas was outspoken in his admiration of ROBERT FRIPP, sometimes to an almost parasitic degree. But his own musical style was actually closer aligned with the Krautrockers of the time, perhaps more so than a Frenchman would care to admit.

Instead of employing his synthesizer like a steroid-injected lead organ, Pinhas and crew used the new equipment more for texture and atmosphere, although here it sounds like they were learning on the job, while the tapes were rolling. Fully half the album shows evidence of overexcited knob twiddling, mostly during the two longer tracks: "Circulus Vitiosus" and the self- titled "Back to Heldon". By comparison, the understated guitars in "Northernland Lady" and "Ballade pour Puig Antich" hide their age remarkably well. Ditto the hypnotic monologue of 'Quais Marchais...etc", the only selection to feature a drummer.

It's safe to say the album isn't as fresh as it used to be, partly because the cybernetic repetition of all those sequencers was already becoming a cliché in 1974. But looking back from our current age of digital conformity there's still plenty to admire here, beyond the now somewhat charming naïveté of the technology itself. Age and distance may have blunted the album's political convictions, but here and elsewhere the music of Heldon anticipated modern trends in ambient drone culture by several decades.

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 Stand By by HELDON album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.90 | 74 ratings

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Stand By
Heldon Progressive Electronic

Review by colorofmoney91
Prog Reviewer

3 stars One of the first and most powerful examples of where progressive rock and early electronic music collide with vigor.

Stand By is a mammoth of purely interesting electronic rock that shows definite talent in the musicians, but, in my opinion, doesn't always work. The intent and promise is there, but kind of seems too overly epic for its own good.

Immediately, it becomes obvious that this album is very powerful as "Bolero" pounds its way through the speakers with a Mahler- or Shostakovich-esque force combined with an increasingly ham-fisted Force Majeure-like acoustic percussion. It's not a bad track, and has a very commendable amount of worthy proggy moments, but it often seems too unrelentingly epic to the point where they seem to be trying way too hard to be so much more rock than is necessary. Also, I really think Pinhas is a great and innovative guitarist, but I'm not sold on the post-Hendrix soloing method he employs during the last half of the track. There are also a few funk-ish moments that sound similar to what a Tangerine Dream/Goblin collaboration may have sounded like, which doesn't really work too well in my opinion.

"Une Drole de Journee" is slightly more subdued in needless synth orchestral epicness, but this is dampened by the continuously heavy-handed drummer and wonky avant-rock moments. This track is very disjointed in composition and is abound with arbitrary confusion, like the opening vocals that start this track of sounding like an electronic zeuhl experiment (which could honestly be done successfully if given more attention) and a random moment of empty bubbling that serves no purpose.

The title track is the heaviest and rockiest track on the album, strong with the sharp electric rock guitar soloing and pounding drums flowing at a pace similar to most sludgy doom metal. It doubles its speed near the half way point and becomes a noisy and flashy metal showoff powerhouse that simply sounds like self-destruction. However, the bass on this track is very thick and intense; it sounds great and is the single most interesting element of this track, but it doesn't save the song entirely.

This was my very first Heldon album and I've been listening to it off and on for almost two years now, and I feel bad that it hasn't grown on me at all considering the amount of praise it has received. Regardless, it does have its moments. Their other, less heavy albums seem more interesting and compositionally complete, but I do think Stand By is a good jumping off point for fans of progressive rock looking to get into progressive electronic, only because of it's profound rockiness.

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 Stand By by HELDON album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.90 | 74 ratings

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Stand By
Heldon Progressive Electronic

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Far and away the best Heldon album, Stand By takes Interface's intoxicating mixture of proto- Industrial, Krautrock, mid-1970s King Crimson and a little bit of Zeuhl and melds all the influences on that album into a singular and unique sound. Synthesisers and guitars blare forth and it's hard to tell which of the two are more aggressive, particularly on the standout title track, a dizzying rapid-fire tour through everything that made the band great. Simply put, this is Richard Pinhas' masterpiece, a seamless fusion of the most violent outgrowths of hard rock and electronic music into a nightmarish, unstoppable killing machine. Handle with care, because this one is explosive.

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 Interface  by HELDON album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.61 | 42 ratings

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Interface
Heldon Progressive Electronic

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Heldon make the transition into full-on industrial rock here, though with enough of their old Krautrock and Robert Fripp influences intact to keep prog audiences happy. Tracks like Jet Girl integrate industrial noise into the band's music perfectly, taking the experiments of Un Reve Sans Consequence Speciale to the next level, whilst the closing epic Interface is a pulsing maelstrom of synthesiser and wailing guitar. (The classic rock and roll riff the song closes with is a mild suggestion as to the strange sense of humour at play here). One of Heldon's most challenging and original works, demanding the listener's full attention and rewarding it handsomely.

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Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition.

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