Erdem Helvacioglu is a young, budding Turkish musician who is very active in a variety of fields related with contemporary art (including films, multimedia, dance and theatre). His work has already been commissioned by important organizational entities and ensembles – two examples at the opposite sides being the 2006 World Soccer Championships and Bang On A Can All-Stars – and he has been joining forces with names comprising Mick Karn, Elliott Sharp and Saadet Türköz. In 2007, his Altered Realities on New Albion – despite receiving critical acclaim and good reviews – somehow hadn’t managed to sufficiently motivate me, but Wounded Breath is definitely a major step forward and an outstanding acousmatic record, period.
The five tracks, whose length ranges from nine to seventeen minutes, are properly conceived and better assembled, gifting us with several moments of astounding trepidation halfway through the indefiniteness of the majority of timbres and the vibrant dynamic multidimensionality that characterizes every single minute of the CD. The composer wisely chose not to exacerbate the spectacular aspect of the sonic events; as a matter of fact, this music frequently shows a deeply touching side, finely represented by the recurrent, almost motionless interruptions – mainly established on a basis of harmonic impenetrableness – that once in a while appear to deliver the pieces from any potential surplus of disaggregation. In that sense, “Lead Crystal Marbles” and “Blank Mirror” present preeminent attributes, alimenting a well-perceivable sensation of uneasiness with surprising changes of circumstances, all the while avoiding the implacable untidiness that often destroys good intentions in today’s electroacoustic melting pot. Not wanting to sound blasphemous, at times this listener was reminded of Roland Kayn’s evolutional climaxes, if only for a few seconds.
A remarkable album indeed, at least on a par with the best offered by labels such as Empreintes DIGITALes. If this is the path that Helvacioglu intends to pursue for the future, we’re all ears.