"Altered Realities" CDR
New Albion Records
Genre: experimental, ambient
Music from Istanbul, Turkey doesn't pop up in the
Indieville mailbag very often, so it was a nice surprise to receive
this little nugget from prolific electronic/guitar wizard Erdem
Helvacuoglu. Having performed at numerous international music
festivals and appeared on several compilations, Erdem is no
stranger to an audience, and this is evident on Altered Realities.
Despite ties to noise and heavily experimental acts, he keeps things
fairly accessible on this heavily atmospheric record. The guitar is
the prime focus here, chiming and echoing as electronics manipulate
the sounds in real time (only the guitar signal was used; electronics
were only used to modify it, and everything was done completely live).
I'm reminded of John Fahey's Hitomi project. Overall,
the ambient, reverberating textures of this release place it more in
company with new age music than textbook experimental work, but you
wouldn't find this on a Yanni record. Helvacioglu's
well-designed sound is something that is both delicate and vast -
something you can put on and let wash over you, without the
embarrassment associated with an Enigma record.
erdem's sound installation
Fun Fact: Erdem's
earlier album, A Walk Through the Bazaar, was dubbed "outstanding" by The Wire magazine.
[Vitals: 7 tracks, 53:10,
released July 2006]