DAVID HELPLING & JON JENKINS: Found (2013)
“The color and the forms of music take root in an imagination sewn of golden thread. It's exactly what Found is made of”
1 The Opening 5:31
2 Sun Racer 6:19
3 Through and Through 6:39
4 Almost Never 5:34
5 Lost 6:55
6 Only Ashes 13:11
7 Through Tears 8:31
8 Edge of Tomorrow 7:04
9 Found 7:24
10 For the Ages 5:31
(CD/DDL 72:35) (V.F.)
(Ambient, melodious and progressive New Age)
Do I have evolved or either I'm quietening down? The question can be asked because the first times I heard The Crossing I had remained a little bit tepid. When I heard FOUND, and this was after the lascivious Robert Schroeder's Slow Motion, I hooked on it instantly. I had found that beautiful but not so charming, as many reviewers had described it at that time. Thus, I aged or I quieten down? I ask because this last album of David Helpling & Jon Jenkins is as much intense as poignant and also very melodious. And I adored this warm mood of melancholy. And yet, it's of the same harvest as The Crossing with rhythms skilfully fed by gorgeous percussions patterns and galloping riffs of guitar which explode of their dualities between more serene phases and bursts of harmonies as so smooth as the promptness of these rhythms which separate the shadows of the forms. And the ambiences! Molded in lines of synth and the tears of guitars with spectral depths and into great iridescent arabesques, they float such as winds of harmonies in a sound universe as rich than unpredictable.
And we hear them with the nebulous synth lines which blow the intro of The Opening and which slowly takes us towards a smooth slow rhythm. These synth lines which float like half-abstracted and half-musical breezes are the soul of FOUND. They float with their contradictions in a musical universe where the ear connects in the eye in order to weave the unreal images of a sound panorama which only the dreams can forge. They weave ambiences sometimes sibylline and sometimes oneiric throughout an album where the guitar chords sing suspended airs which roll their harmonies in loops. We are slowly let ourselves rock by the slow rhythm of The Opening. Not really a down-tempo, nor really a rock, the rhythm is lascivious and flows with fine jolts through the notes of a dreamy guitar. At once, we spot the musical signature of David Helpling and his very pronounced influences for the poetic universe of Patrick O'Hearn. Sun Racer is a more livened up piece of music. The rhythm adopts a sort of Arabian tribal approach on a structure where the percussions thunder as much as they cement its indecisions inside a rhythmic pattern in constant reflection between its brief quiet phases, its dreamy melodies and its long ride of jolts drummed by an impressive pattern of percussions. The moments of calm, as the harmonious passages, are followed by a rhythmic and harmonic intensity which reaches its peak little after the 4th minute. It's at same time cadenced and oneiric, like the heavy and tribal Lost and its guitar solos which caress the ghosts of melodies forgotten in a dense sound cloud. Through and Through is my first very favorite on FOUND. Its intro offers a musical book of delicate notes of guitar which hang around as they daydream with the fragile notes of piano. The ambiences are of dreams. And quietly Through and Through assembles its elements of rhythms scattered through some fine melodies which ring in the resonances of percussions and of their echoes of felted wood. The ambiences become more intense and the music more poignant, while the percussions beat a lascivious heaviness which refuses its constantly in quiet veils of ether. This is a great track which explodes of a dramatic final where the guitar draws its solos in the shadow of a melody eaten away by melancholy. Almost Never brings us towards the somber ambient side of this album with a slow meditative structure where are dragging notes of guitar which roll its wandering in the shape of looping harmonies in a thick veil of sibylline breezes. This veil is a meshing of synth lines and fine tears of guitars of which the symbiosis is forging some somber sonic clouds with arabesques painted in dark and in translucent tints. A pattern which is the source of Only Ashes, Through Tears and the title-track which are beautiful jewels of very meditative ambient music where the ghosts of melodies float through a guitar as so discreet than a much contemplative piano, in particular in the very beautiful Only Ashes, a track which redefined the borders of dark ambient music by being so melodious, and Found which is a bit more attractive with the beautiful voice of Miriam Stockley. Edge of Tomorrow is another superb melody which reminds me vaguely the occult structures of Patrick O'Hearn on El Dorado. It's as much beautiful and striking as Through and Through. Just like For the Ages which ends the album with a hard-hitting final that capsize the soul so much it's striking.
The color and the forms of music take root in an imagination sewn of golden thread. It's exactly what FOUND is made of. David Helpling & Jon Jenkins draw some musical panoramas which melt in our most fictionalized dreams where the feelings are fed by structures which draw their sweetnesses from the abandonment of their impromptu rhythms. Like brooks of meditative melodies which cry in the shadows of a pensive piano and in the harmonies of a guitar of which the solos and lamentations liquefy within the soft textures of synths to the sibylline breezes, FOUND pours all its sonic horizons under the thunders of its percussions in order to feed well our always gaping ears. In fact, I aged or I quieten down? Maybe I passed too quickly over The Crossing.
Sylvain Lupari (December 2nd, 2013) *****
Available at Spotted Peccary Music Bandcamp