The Lisbon based, vinyl-only label Helena Records brings us another deep techno selection of tracks from the Canadian Matt Thibideau under his moniker Altitude.

Helena is known for its dynamic and pleasantly complex deep tracks from the likes of Hinode [Science Fiction, Monkey Bar, Attic Music], Module Werk [Black Wall, Helena], Ephemeral [Berlin Bass Collective, Helena], Aleks [Natural Sciences, Hesperian Sound Division, Deeptrax], now adding Altitude in its portfolio. Just 3 years old, Helena has defined itself a clear melodic identity among analog machines and dynamic audio landscapes, providing satisfying physical experiences rich with emotion.

In its latest release, Flux, Altitudes brings forth 4 analog-rich creations, carrying technically inspired names, while bringing human warmth to the experience.

The A-side carries Transforming and Fractional, greeting us with pleasant pads and welcoming rhythms, rolling us into their deep atmospheres. Analog sounds we’re all familiar with, synergistically assembled. Transforming tends to adopt a warm personality, with ever so slightly morphing structures, keeping the whole track dynamic and highly inviting. Once the welcoming is done, Altitudes directs you to a deeper level with Fractional. A spacious atmosphere awaits, with well-used reverb, delay, and nicely filtered pads.

The B-side starts off with Touch Sensor, immediately introducing its powerful baseline. Bringing along the rest of the melody starts to reveal a certain physical dynamic: the powerful bass joined with the oscillated and delayed pads would make one imagine touching something for the first time, gently feeling the surface with the finger tips, testing with one’s senses. This exploration can be said to reach a satisfying conclusion when the pads become continuous towards the end, showing how the experience music gives is focused on the physical journey.

Tantalum explores a slightly darker side compared to the rest, with sharper edges in the audio landscape it’s defining, bringing a pleasant variety of analog sounds. While following a successful deep recipe, haunting droning makes its presence felt from time to time. This seems to be Altitude showing respect to the technology behind transistors and capacitors (some making a typical hum) so often used in analog machines, Tantalum being one of the most used rare metals in such devices.

Overall, Flux is a valuable addition to Helena Records’ list of releases. You can listen to more of Matt’s creations on labels such as his own Obsolete Components, Cynosure, Eclipse Music, Hushlamb, Assemble Music.

Interpretation by: Filip Popescu

(This release appears also on Assemble Music and Obsolete Components)

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