Heldon - Interface LP
Label: Bureau B
Release Date: January 31st, 2020
Bureau B present a reissue of Heldon's Interface, originally released in 1977. A brilliant moment occurs right at the end of Heldon's sixth album, Interface. The album's final song, its side-long title track, builds up slowly into a roaring tornado of fiercely mutating drum patterns, effervescent synth work, and guitar licks that wail into the atmosphere like an abandoned astronaut. Then, after nearly 19 minutes of highly futuristic avant-garde space rock, this ultramodern music fades out and is replaced by a concluding few seconds of traditional blues-rock guitar. "We were finishing the track, the tape was rolling, and I started to play a normal boogie or whatever," remembers Heldon leader Richard Pinhas. "I think it was a good idea to keep it. It just came naturally, at the end." This event acts as a reminder of just how far rock n' roll had been transformed since its earliest incarnations. This blueprint had been jolted and nudged down all kinds of unexpected avenues after players like Chuck Berry and Bill Haley first found fame. The genre had branched out into every manner of mutated form. It had given rise to misshapen clones and had shifted into unrecognizable shapes, like a beautiful alien creature from one of the science fiction tales that were fondly admired by so many experimental rock musicians, Pinhas included. Heldon, surely, represented one of rock n' roll's most distant relatives; an innovative fusion of avant-garde rock sounds and synthesizer pulsations. At the same time, Interface's unexpected ending also tells us that such music, however improvisatory or fused with electronic elements, will forever have its roots in those early rock n' roll records that are responsible for so many varieties of aural exploration.
Thanks to the increased presence of drummer François Auger and synth/Moog man Patrick Gauthier, Pinhas's project had solidified into a harder and heavier unit. Around the time of the album's release, the musician and composer Jean-Philippe Goude told Pinhas that because of its merging of synthesizer sounds with "real" instrumentation. Despite its often warm and near-funky feel, Interface has been cited as an influence on key industrial and noise musicians including Wolf Eyes and Merzbow.