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Altered Realities by Erdem Helvacioglu

Turkish guitarist Erdem Helvacioglu recorded these largely ambient acoustic-electric works in an Istanbul studio. As a habit, I rarely peruse liner notes till I preview and perhaps try and absorb an album's musicality. Yet, after listening and then reading the album notes, i was surprised that he only employed an acoustic guitar and live electronics, recorded direct to DAT sans any overdubs.

Reminisces of classic ‘70s Brian Eno come into play here, due to Helacioglu’s existential guitar and effects treatments. He morphs chords into vast horizontal planes amid traces of reverb and oscillating overtones. It’s partly about the textural component that provides the mind’s eye with a dream-based platform. And on the piece titled "Dreaming On A Blind Saddle, the guitarist’s ever-so-delicate manipulations cast a sense of sanctification where time seemingly stops in its tracks.

Helvacioglu’s sound-sculpting designs impart a few unexpected deviations, but they are subtle and non-intrusive. He sports a light tough that is conducive to the overall sound and scope of this program. And generates percussion sounds with his guitar processing techniques, evidenced on the hybrid, avant-garde/New Age composition "Ebony Remains." In sum, the guitarist professes a distinct methodology that becomes apparent from the opening moments of this superfine and very listenable endeavor. (Heartily recommended.... )

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Erdem Helvacioglu
  • CD Title: Altered Realities
  • Genre: Progressive
  • Year Released: 2007
  • Record Label: New Albion
  • Rating: Four Stars
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