Undivided Undivided


Helixir HelixirUndivided

7.1 / 10


Alright, there’s nobody like the French to make modern terror films, cotton candy, and dance music with a filter. But who would have guessed at this stage of the game that in the land of Ratatouille there would also be a place to mine bass? Helixir isn’t willing to let himself get carried away by stereotypes, and he has laid down ten tracks with a dubstep flavour for clubs that would make more than one British pothead frown. “Undivided” drags along with the elasticity of an eel in a drum full of radioactive waste. The movements are beautiful, precise, hypnotic, but executed in an ultra-technological industrial context of extreme diving. The Frenchman’s club abstractions—he was born and resides in Strasbourg, by the way—have very little to them that is human. “Undivided” seems at times to be recorded with the electronics system of a nuclear submarine, as if Helixir had built a studio among the silent turbines of the iron monster, thousands of metres under the sea, in the heat of a battle between a sperm whale and a giant squid. This isn’t a gratuitous analogy after having seen “Abyss”: cuts like “Atlantis” –the name says it all– define the underwater nature of an album that would drive James Cameron’s bioluminescent aliens crazy: oscillations of deep low notes, strange reverberations, icy effects, the futuristic bubble. Cold and darkness.

The coordinates of the dive are very clear. Without giving up on danceable nerve—the rhythmic skeletons are unspoilt garage– Helixir is debuting in LP format with a miasma of dub, IDM, techstep and, of course, an abundance of cosmic dusbtep. It is a sound that is damp and soaked, almost at freezing point. The good thing is that the Frenchman at no time delights in his more experimental side, rather he applies the testing to an engine designed for the dance floor. So, while “The Big Wheel” clearly makes itself comfortable on an Underground Resistance trademark mattress and drumming imported from the catacombs of London, “Summertime” floats over the dance floor thanks to Mike Paradinas-style synthesisers and a pattern of garage sounds that smells like fish & chips at six o’clock in the morning. And in this piece, we find some breathtakingly beautiful gems. “I’ve Never Wanted to Hurt You” –along with “Atlantis”, one of the great moments of the album– wraps up your spinal chord, thanks to a mutation of romantic 2step that works with robotic precision. It is advanced dubstep, yes, but for everyone, not just a few people.

In this line of activity, the sounds of the British underground show themselves to our ears like the feathers of a cybernetic peacock. Helixir has an amazing mastery of atmospheres and sound moulding: the metallic emphases of “Quiet Storm”, the alien accordion of “Ride the Wind”, and the knives of sound that cut the air in “Space Travelling”, among many other electronic conjuring tricks, speak to us of an obsessive craftsman who polishes his works over and over again until he achieves surfaces that are perfectly flat, disinfected, without the least bit of roughness. This is the stamp of a meticulous, almost obsessive producer, who obligates you to go over the album with headphones and dim halogen lights. Concentrated. It is the only way to appreciate his fine carpentry on the low notes, a perfect distilling that searches for the purest essence of the bass, to hit—or shall we say, caress—our thoracic cavity at impossible depths. And the thing is that there, in the solitude of the ocean floor, is where one best understands Helixir’s strange anti-melodies. Nobody should be surprised: this is how one dances in the abyss.

Óscar Broc

Helixir - I've Never Wanted To Hurt You{youtube width="100%" height="25"}qhuqfrePnZE{/youtube}

Helixir - Undivided{youtube width="100%" height="25"}AmJHHHNqJko{/youtube}

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