If any one genre type is, these days, slowly sucking me into its orbit, it’s the amalgamated field recording. If any one sub-genre type is, these days, firing my cylinders, it’s the hybrid amalgamated field recording—in other words, the conjoining and/or stacking of field samples, with incidental musical interjection. They’re riddles or they’re atmospheres. Maybe they’re both, but either way, these are hardly passive compositional statements; they demand that listeners invest, put in some work.
“A Visit from Helios” opens with tolling hand bells, but at its beating heart are combustion engines: the snarls of anonymous autos, pneumatic doors hissing, horns sounding, jammed brakes squealing out into infinity. Post-industrial production in action, sure, but also the uneven pulse of urban life: pre-taped announcements bouncing from a PA system, actual language tossed back and forth like a frisbee. Even if music laps up against the jig-sawed action subtly, like a late tide, recognize that “Helios” is a specifically solar polemic: context clues tilt towards Greece, fossil fuels power our locomotion, and the track quietly threatens, at moments, to overheat.