Search Results for:

HANDLE

Helena Celle

If You Can't Handle You At Your Worst, Then I Don't Deserve Me At My Best

    Dedicated 21st Century polymath Kay Logan continues to expand her soundworld in every direction at once with her Helena Celle alias. A maximalist internal landscape of broken Jungle patterns, distorted synths and heavily warped instrumentation bent out of cognisance, If You Can’t Handle You At Your Worst, Then I Don’t Deserve Me At My Best is Logan’s most danceable, most fun and most gloriously congealed record to date.

    Conceived in part as a response to her 2016 debut release If I Can’t Handle Me At My Best, You Don’t Deserve You At Your Worst, 2023’s update employs similar principles (degrading technology, the joy of chance, an outsider’s gaze onto the dance floor, an embracing of the occult) to delirious effect. If “I Can’t Handle” was lo fi and fragile in its technoid recasting of dance music, here Logan’s confidence allows a frantic playfulness that retains the spontaneity of all her output. It’s the work of a creative spirit revelling in the possibilities of sound, rhythm, texture and pattern. Helena Celle’s music opens up psychic space in front of the listener and invites them in. In this world, sounds and tropes once recognisable are rendered fractal, spectral and continually melting in and out of recognition. Simply put, Helena Celle might be detouring Drum & Bass, Techno and Breakbeat with a prankster’s grin but the result is pure ecstasy crushed into a part of the listener’s consciousness hitherto untroubled.

    Opener I Did It My Way pokes fun at Sinatra but the message is clear, Helena Celle has no regrets. Sounding like a Jungle track shorn of a MC and deep fried in greasy acid, it uses cassette compression effects to push the sound far beyond the red. A breakbeat suffers multiple lashings of noise solos, heavily filtered synths and white noise blowing a crazy gale across the stereo pan. Ennobled Reception Of The Excellector (My Face When Mix) approximates French House perhaps or 90s dance chart music as performed by a rotting homunculus gurgling down the phone. It’s really that fun and carefree. Real Time... takes a stab at a kind of Techno EBM Cold Wave with no desire to sound like any of it, with waves of tape hiss rising up from some dark shore to wash over proceedings. Fellow sound artist and musician Jennifer Walton guests on the last track on Side A, an epic, fuzzed out Noise and rhythm excursion into cyber breakdown. Snow-Filled Chalice Of My Magonian Exile (titles of the year so far, right?) builds into a wall of beats, pads, manic, haywire synth patterns and a world-ending, distorted riff that points to an appreciation of Metal. The track posits all of reality as one massive computer game played by gods and this is the track played at the Game Over screen. A pixelated, fantastical club track that would simply eviscerate any club it was played in.

    The whole of Side B is given over to a 20 minute epic, Original Besttrack (Abe’s Oddysee Extended Mix). A cohesive summation of the previous 4 tracks but stretched out, it recalls Aphex Twin’s furthest out tracks albeit boiled underwater, every element blown out so that even the ambient passages scramble brains and re-wire expectations. The restless, overwhelming music is glazed with a patina of hiss that renders the whole almost meditative: over the 20 minutes there is so much information to digest your brain starts plugging in directly to the music, settling in and accepting the mania as it comes. At the other end you’re wondering how you coped without it.

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Barry says: Though Helena Celle's musical output is undeniably made for a certain subset of electronic music appreciators, this new project sees Kay Logan's pieces get hefty reworks, morphing the intimidating scattered electronic shards into lo-fi techno, rolling industrial and fractured experimental house.

    TRACK LISTING

    1. I Did It My Way
    2. Ennobled Reception Of The Excellector (My Face When Mix)
    3. Real Time (Five Track Pentangle Edgelord Mix)
    4. Snow-Filled Chalice Of My Magonian Exile (ft Jennifer Walton)
    5. Original Besttrack (Abe's Oddysee Extended Mix)

    Handle

    In Threes

      Incorporating a diverse range of influences, from samba to no wave, Handle, a three-piece from Manchester (now based between Manchester / London / Brussels) made up of Giulio Erasmus and Nirvana Heire former members of D.U.D.S (the first British band to sign to Castle Face) and Leo Hermitt, a genderqueer multidisciplinary artist, renowned for their challenging, thought-provoking work on the city’s arts and literary scenes. The group mesh politics with a trans experience of time and a vibrant, avant-garde freedom of approach.

      Handle make a uniquely minimal sound, buoyed by poetic, urgent vocals. Each instrument (bass, drums, keyboard and voice) is permitted its own space, yet somehow the result is a brilliantly unified yet understated sonic experience that demands then commands your attention.

      Powered by looping, hypnotic synth lines, quaking flexes of bass, clattering tribal percussion and expeditious, often agitated vocals that cordially sprint, Handle's songs – all of which clock in around the two minute mark – owe as much to performance poetry as they do to the vibrancy of post-punk and new wave. In these times of anxiety and confusion, Handle provide a much-needed dose of musical catharsis, albeit disorientating at times, pre-empting sense from the shards of sound they gather about themselves. 'Life’s Work' begins with isolated swells of pitch before driving full throttle into an exuberant rhythmic workout. 'Sunday Morning' shares this elasticated feel for melody and communication, twisting about itself in rubbery fashion. 'Coagulate' is more disembodied from the pulse, but similarly retains a boldness of vision.

      'Step By Step' showcases what Handle excel at, it's a clangorous leviathan of beat-forward dance punk, peppered with Leo's fluid vocal inertia. It's dizzying yet divinely exuberant. 'Punctured Time' evokes the same cascading flow "Punctured time, bicycle wheel, what if I told you that your lips were like venus, lips were like what? Lips were like venus and that my tongue was a trampoline?" sings Leo amid undulating bass, toppling drums and jabs of keyboard ambience.

      Handle make music occupied by dark shapes that move beneath a roiling surface. Jolting, shattering, cracking, smoothed, bounded, punctuated. Handle's debut album ‘In Threes’ is a collection of frenetic sounds for frenzied forms. 'In Threes' was recorded and mixed by Robin Williams and follows on from the band's previous EP 'Demonstrations', released through their own imprint Absolute Fiction. 


      STAFF COMMENTS

      Barry says: 'In Threes' is a brilliantly diverse, oddball suite of clashing grooves and jagged melodies. Sonically interesting, thematically consistent and ram-packed with influences from all over the musical spectrum. What a trip.

      TRACK LISTING

      01. Vocal Exercise
      02. Punctured Time
      03. What It Does
      04. Lifes Work
      05. Coagulate
      06. Sunday Morning
      07. Mhmm
      08. Rubber Necks
      09. In Tension
      10. Step By Step
      11. Describe

      Helena Celle

      If I Can't Handle Me At My Best, Then You Don't Deserve You At Your Worst

        HELENA CELLE is the synth work and multi-dimensional audio practise of Glasgow-based musician Kay Logan. A 21st century polymath, Logan’s interests lie in the power relationships inherent in technology, how to harness aleatoric practise in a discipline that is often rigid and in exploring the interface between computer science (Logan is also a computer programmer) and sound. Originally recorded in 2014, "If I Can't Handle.." is the first step on the wander, a deliriously sun-burnt foray into abstract techno and a very personal take on an electronic music language that remains obscure to outsiders but here rendered a unique form of emotional communication.

        While Logan’s interests are powered by academic exploration, what’s most striking about Helena Celle’s approach to electronic music is how effortlessly she deconstructs it, makes it personal: the results are emotive without being explicit, raw and engaging, a true outsider music. The taking apart of norms can be heard on the squelched solo on "I'm Done With 666", governed by the love of noise, the wave is eviscerated, smothering the track in a glorious disregard for convention. The crashing, ultra-compressed chords that flatten opener "Streaming Music for Biometrics" re-wire the listener to appreciate chance, to break the loop. Recorded exclusively using a faltering MC303, live in a room straight to consumer dictaphones, the breadth of texture and depth of ideas on these tracks is truly astonishing. "Miming Swinging Baseball Bat" manages to submerge a bass-line straight into the tape heads, grounding a celestial synth arpeggio that flutters overhead.

        Informed by limit yet sounding limitless, If I Can't Handle Me... evokes a personal space, a rewired take on electronic music, convention seen through the prism of anti-tradition, a wonderfully careless disregard for electronic music dogma before Logan's next phase as Helena Celle. After several releases under various other pseudonyms (Rick Ross, Larks) Helena Celle sees Logan focusing her ideas into a coherent whole, questioning the hegemony of neo-liberal ideas and their intersection with capital, culture and social practises, how these ideas inform the music we make, the choices we buy. Indeed, while Logan's current practise is moving further into the field of an open-source musical programming language, developing a truly democratic music practise set adrift from capital, here Logan's intent is to make sense of the nonsense we take for granted.

        Dboy

        Handle With Care EP

          Second release from this singer songwriter, described by himself as, 'a diverse collection of thoughts and opinions.... what all good music should be.'


          Latest Pre-Sales

          215 NEW ITEMS

          E-newsletter —
          Sign up
          Back to top