Saturday 19 October 2019, 7.30pm
Two-day residency for Luke Younger, aka London-based sound artist and musician, Helm, who, across a visceral and thrillingly eclectic sonic output, has released five studio albums and three EPs of textural experimental music, exploring a relationship between acoustic, electronic and real-world sounds.
Helm’s fifth full-length studio album, ‘Chemical Flowers’, arrives in a moment of anxiety and tension without a clearly definable source. Younger states own internal questioning of the mechanisms of music and art and how he engages with each have had an influence. “I find myself asking, how complicit am I in structures I consider to be at odds with myself?” he says, “How can the cultural playing field be truly equal and inclusive whilst it’s increasingly co-opted and controlled by corporations, brands and gatekeeper-sociopaths, perpetuating an endless hierarchy and class imbalance?”.
For the majority of the album the themes are diffuse, with the anxiety offset by anecdotes and snippets of conversation overheard in daily life. Across the album Younger weaves varied sound sources through channels of process, with string arrangements by J.G. Thirlwell to broaden the instrumentation and introduce an element more identifiably human. Thirlwell’s arrangements feature heavily on ‘I Knew You Would Respond’. “The intention to use strings wasn’t to explore a neo-classical route but instead make something a bit darker, dramatic and even psychedelic.”
Please note that unfortunately Teresa Winter can unfortunately no longer make this event.
“Helm, aka Luke Younger, has developed into one of the most interesting artists operating at the point where sound art meets drone and certain aspects of noise.” – The Skinny
“Younger reaches skywards, towards the celestial void, and the results are utterly thrilling.” – Crack
Helm's first album ‘To An End’ was released on his own label ALTER in 2010. Influenced by 20th century electroacoustic music and Britain’s esoteric post-industrial underground, the record contained two long-form pieces that mixed haunting, respiratory-themed tape music with warm meditative ambience. ‘Cryptography’ followed a year later via Graham Lambkin’s KYE asa five-part suite of glacial drone, reconfigured gamelan clusters and searing metallic resonance. Warmly received by the press and underground community alike, it helped to establish him as a serious new voice in experimental music.
2012 saw the beginning of a working relationship with PAN. His third album ‘Impossible Symmetry’ was released with more of an electronic sound, a result of sessions experimenting with analog synthesizers and rhythmic patterns. Helm performed regularly across Europe, Asia and even North-Africa (Rawabet, a live album of his show in Cairo was released on ALTER in 2017). From galleries to clubs, squatted venues and major festivals, performances took place in a multitude of different contexts including an opening act for a disparate range of groups including Iceage, Godspeed You Black Emperor and Oneohtrix Point Never.
During breaks from touring Younger entered the studio to work on ‘Olympic Mess’. Using repetitive loops to signify motion and movement, Helm’s sound morphed into something upbeat and airy thanks to flirtations with dub-techno and Balearic disco. ‘Olympic Mess’ was released in 2015 and received critical acclaim and support from press and featured in a number of end of year album lists. The sprawling, hypnotic, sometimes euphoric soundscapes act as a counterpoint to the chaos they arose from, as Younger says: “it’s about exploring a perverse desire to pull the rug from under yourself, and the struggle to achieve a healthy equilibrium between one’s own personal and artistic lives… Dealing with the problematic consequences of pushing your own limits, forming and dissolving relationships, transient lifestyles, physical and mental exhaustion, excess and other kinds of personal chaos.”
Younger is a resident DJ on NTS Radio where he has presented his monthly show ‘After Dark’ since 2016. He has also engaged in collaborations with visual artists. A performance at the opening of the Tate Modern’s Tanks space saw Helm perform with video artist and film maker Charles Atlas’ during his ‘Charles Atlas and Collaborators’ series. Subsequently Atlas used edited arrangements from Olympic Mess in his 2015 exhibition “The Waning Of Justice” for Luhring Augustine gallery in New York City. Younger also returned to The Tanks in 2016 to perform in an ensemble using a collection of unorthodox instruments for Tarek Atoui’s “The Reverse Collection”. The same year saw Unsound Festival commission the project “Inner Space: Siberia” with Moscow based musician Moa Pillar and the Embassy For The Displaced, an Athens-based design collective. The project was a location-based A/V collaboration exploring the landscapes of Siberia with audio recorded in Moscow and visuals filmed in the Ural Mountains and Novosibirsk. It premiered at the Vladivostok Film Festival that year with a subsequent performance at Unsound Krakow to an audience of 2000. In support of ‘Chemical Flowers’, Helm has a residency at Cafe OTO, London in October 2019 and will be performing internationally the rest of the year.
Valerio Tricoli is a composer and performer of electro-acoustic music. Since the mid ’00 is main instruments for live presentations is the Revox B77 reel-to-reel tape recorder, used as a completely analogue / ergonomic device for live sampling and real-time transformation / editing / mixing of pre-recorded (field or studio recordings).
His latest release “Miseri Lares” (PAN) has been described as a “album which reads like a story full of provocative signifiers which converge to create an allegory of unsettling beauty” (Mischa Mathys, The Formant).
Over the years Valerio has been active in some long-term collaboration with other musicians, composers, choreographers and multimedia artists. He has been working extensively with Thomas Ankersmit, Antoine Chessex, Werner Dafeldecker, Anthony Pateras, Robert Piotrowicz.
"Low Company hard kru gets it’s hands on some of the most abundant “demos” we’ve heard in a loooong time, a recalibrating collection of hermetic sound collage and suspensive beat cycles that form the far-reaching, street-lamp sonics on “C.C.S. Ear-well” - the first outing of London based shut-in Malvern Brume and the maiden voyage on a cobbled together, in-house, hand scalpel’ing, carbon based farce / tape label.
A near sixty minute long Greenwich Tunnel Dive, “C.S.S...” is a set of lost transmissions on MB’s fading vitality and experiments in sun-starved, solitary fitness. From the off, the opening track “Pedestrian Movement” feels like a last legible journal entry, a pensive and melodic inquisition before rasping, Diesel Guitar-style drone descents and inaudible S.O.S. signals take hold and tracks become fully shrouded in a malnourished distortion, dusted with fluttering memoirs of the real-world via some rickety, smoke stained London field recordings.
Side B morphs into more paranoid, beat-sequenced skeletons - “Tascam 1081” and “Ebb” feeling like hissing inversions of the German Shepherds’ “Music For Sick Queers”, whilst “Unrooted Drum” and “Mud Lap” take the shape of an unidentified strain of slickly modulating, claustrophobic techno - like something you might find on Morphine - an erratic yet intuitive tekno-primitivism, Brume going mad in captivity and simultaneously developing an acute understanding for his craft. "
DJ Lara Croft's Dentist is from Yorkshire and presents a visceral exploration into the dreaded discomfort of root canal treatment blended with the mysterious and puzzling textures from the Tomb Raider video game franchise.
Flora Yin Wong is a musician and writer from London, whose work incorporates traditional early instruments such as singing bowls, yangqin and kemence. Her debut releases include an album in 2020 on Modern Love as a gatefold 2x LP, and PAN’s mono no aware compilation, remixes and commissions for Mun Sing (Giant Swan), Circadian Rhythms, J Colleran, Scintii, Archaic Vaults, and Somerset House Studios. Her first book 'Liturgy' is published on PAN x Primary Information.
She has performed live at MUTEK in Montreal, Peru, and Argentina, New York’s ISSUE Project Room, Volksbühne Theatre Berlin, for Raster-Noton in Kyiv, The V&A Museum, and Somerset House, as well as DJed in clubs liked Berghain, Mutabor Moscow, Razzmatazz Barcelona, Paris, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Antwerp, Vienna, Brussels, Shanghai, Beijing, Seoul, Hong Kong, Sydney, and 3HD Festival in Berlin. She’s guested on radio platforms like NTS Live, Know Wave, Rinse FM, Cxema, BBC Radio 3 and 6, LYL, and Boiler Room.