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Erdem Helvacioglu – Wounded Breath

Erdem Helvacioglu - Wounded Breath

CD, Aucourant Records, 2008

It is not often that music from eastern Europe gets an open ear in western society. So, to see a Turkish artist being released on an American label means it is some good stuff. And the knowledge of the CD being send to Portugal after which it is being reviewed by someone from Holland… It can be seen as the proof that music really doesn’t have boundaries. And because of the absence of words it definitely goes for “Wounded Breath” by Erdem Helvacioglu.
Five tracks cover over an hour of musique concrète with a quality that is quite rare. The fact that the pieces “Blank mirror” (track 4) and “Below the cold ocean” (track 1) each came in third at the 2002 and 2003 Luigi Russolo Electroacoustic Competition only confirms this high quality. The balance between the silent phases and the manipulated sounds within the compositions keeps on focusing on the tension within the tracks. Which is why it is such a good album – because we’ve seen the opposite often enough in experimental music and musique concrète releases,that is awesome sounds but a complete lack of storylines or tension. “Wounded Breath” doesn’t have any boring moments at all, it is very well produced and all five pieces are very worthwile. There are sounds to explore and stories to follow.
So the question with which the review started still stands: why does a Turkish artist, who has a great future ahead of him in electro-acoustic music, has to release a CD in America to be heard in Europe?


— Bauke vander Wal

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