Helicoide album reviews

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THE ATTIC Staff Picks – March 2019

Millions of Dead Tourists are an intriguing music trio from Greece who ”uses and abuses synths, pedal effects, 2 bass guitars, laptop, sequencer.” Their second album, “Helicoide”, was released on the 1000+1Tilt label and bring into forefront 4 electronic pieces. An intense listening experience, walking through dark sound spheres reminiscent of early electro and evokes post-apocalyptic scenarios. Somehow, without any expressed activism, the sense of the protest is here and can be felt throughout the album. ”Recorded in Athens and Thessaloniki, January to March 2018, while both cities were being sold to airbnb.”


VITAL WEEKLY No 1179

The name of this band is surely inspired by the punk band Million Of Dead Cops, I would think, and like that this band has a political side that is firmly on the left-wing side of the political spectrum. The band name is a response against what they call ‘Airbnb-ed cities’, but also they have a song called ‘Social Media As A Concentration Camp’ (inspired by Culturcide’s ‘Consider Museums As Concentration Camps’?) and a song about “one of the tragedies of our times is the colonization of the human imagination by economics”. The music is very far removed from the world of punk music, however. The line-up is Iason (electronics, which I believe are a synthesizer, such as the Yamaha CS20, Erebus, Nanozwerg, audiomulch) and Sotiris and Yiannis, who both play bass guitar and effects. One song has “vocals, lyrics and tapes” by Alyssa Moxley. I gather that still doesn’t say much about the music they play, which is an excellent form of electronic music, with lots of rhythm and lots of synthesizer sounds. The opener is a fine melodic piece of arpeggio’s synths, a steady fast rhythm out of a box and the two bass guitars playing along in a fine post-punk modus. ‘Nothing Is Possible’ is a much darker beast, with a more complex rhythm, many taped voices and vocals. A similar layer of voices is in the song ‘Social Media As A Concentration Camp’, but with the basses again driving the piece forward, synth locked down and slowly going into a multi-tone colour with the bass drum in mid-tempo ticking time away. In the final piece ‘The Long And Sufficiently Agonizing Death Of A Chicago Boy’ we find the group in their most experimental form, with the basses doing much of the work, going through various effects and the synths in a more supporting role. The sequencer decides upon a rhythm but it stays pretty abstract throughout the twelve minutes this piece lasts. It is the end of a much-varied disc, clocking in forty minutes, which is too short, I think. I understand the time constraint for this as it is also available on LP but I would not mind a bit more. All of this brought to you by the guy who brought you P.S. Stamps Back before, operating in a similar field of very leftfield techno music. The political message is there but not preached too much in the songs, which is a good thing I should think. (FdW)


SIDE-LINE Industrial electro music magazine

Genre/Influences: Experimental, electronics, industrial.

Background/Info: Millions Of Dead Tourists is a Greek formation, which has released their second album. “Helicoide” only features four tracks.

Content: The songs have been progressively built up, which partly explains why the songs are all going over 7/8 minutes. The tracks are bringing different influences together, which can be easily resume the sonic fusion between minimal- and experimental electro and industrial music. There’s a hostile sphere emerging from a few cuts while spooky, whispering voices are accentuating the mystery around this band and album. It’s not an easy thing to precisely define what this band is actually doing, but they clearly reveal to have a nose for intelligent music formats.

+ + + : I’ve been always fascinated by some minimalism in the composition. This approach has been mixed with haunting vocals and overwhelming, vibrating atmospheres. It’s not an easy job to define the real style of Helicoide, but in the end it’s easier to speak about a mixture of influences where electronics and bass guitar are coming together.

– – – : The recording and mixing could have been better –or more professional.

Conclusion: There are several great ideas running through this album, but Millions Of Dead Tourists has something unique and therefore fascinating.

Best songs: “Social Media As A Concentration Camp”.

Rate: (7)


THRESHOLD MAGAZINE

Os Millions of Dead Tourists – trio oriundo da Grécia – formaram-se em abril de 2016, ano no qual lançaram o seu primeiro disco de estúdio homónimo, um documento composto por cinco temas a explorar os limites da música experimental com os campos da dark electronics. Três anos depois a banda regressa aos holofotes da música underground com o seu mais recente trabalho Helicoide, um disco de quatro longas faixas que incorpora os mais hipnóticos sons e ritmos condutores e capta, de forma imersiva, a atenção do ouvinte. Num registo baseado nas mesmas estruturas musicais que o seu antecessor, mas na formulação de um trabalho ainda mais enriquecido, os Millions of Dead Tourists apresentam-nos a sua eletrónica escura submersa em camadas condutoras.

Helicoide é ainda um trabalho que vai ainda além do seu resultado como produto sonoro. A banda afirma em press-release que este novo disco foi gravado nas cidades de Atenas e Salónica entre janeiro e março de 2018, enquanto ambos os lugares eram vendidos ao Airbnb. Avaliando o desígnio pelo o qual o projeto recorre para nomear o seu trabalho, encontra-se inerte, portanto, uma ténue crítica política e social, esta última inclusa na exploração dos temas que incorporam este novo registo. O disco abre com o tema homónimo “Helicoide” que nos apresenta a primeira interseção resultante entre os sons sintetizados em loop, os efeitos de pedais e uma dose de experimentação altamente narcótica. Através de um desenvolvimento moroso que abrange a introdução de cada vez mais elementos (incluindo os primeiros vocais), os Millions of Dead Tourists vão-nos mostrando uma interessante evolução relativamente às sonoridades que já nos tinham exposto no disco de estreia, com um som ainda mais aditivo.

Além da tradicional abordagem eletrónica, em Helicoide os Millions of Dead Tourists destacam ainda a sua veia influenciada no movimento kraut-rock sempre com o característico ponto de foco no baixo e na emulação de ritmos potentes que abordam os mais divergentes ambientes da música eletrónica de traços essencialmente negros. Se em temas como “Nothing is Possible” somos introduzidos a um ambiente soturno – onde o baixo nos conduz a um ambiente sonoro que consegue soar a industrial, fantasmagórico, sinistro e altamente dinâmico -; em “Social media as a concentration camp” somos absorvidos por um techno mais colorido com um ritmo altamente demarcado, ao mesmo tempo que somos confrontados com algumas ténues questões do foro social, descritas na nominação do próprio tema.

Antes de se despedir, o trio grego recorre ao tema final “The long and sufficiently agonizing death of a chicago boy”, que chega para abarcar o ouvinte a um porto de abrigo completamente divergente dos padrões de conforto a que este está habituado. Um ensaio sonoro que aporta um terreno explorativo entre os elementos da “avant-electronics”, dark ambient e o confronto existencialista de se ser humano. Difícil de consumir, mas altamente engenhoso do ponto de vista da produção e como produto final.

Através de um conjunto de quatro temas produzidos com recurso a sintetizadores, baixo e efeitos eletrónicos, os Millions of Dead Tourists constroem em Helicoide um disco com uma duração aproximada a 38 minutos, onde as suas experimentações eletrónicas conduzem a um efeito altamente imersivo. É quase tão instantâneo quanto o café solúvel. Ora experimentem a clicar no play.

Helicode está disponível nos formatos vinil e CD – este último com recurso a um packaging esteticamente apelativo.

Millions of Dead Tourists – s/t album reviews

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VITAL WEEKLY No 1072

You may remember P.S. Stamps Back? The project of Iason working the electronics to create a more dance oriented beat, with ‘Half Life’ (reviewed in Vital Weekly 1028) being a highlight so far. Here he teams up with two bass players, Sotiris and Yiannis (all of them come from circles in which last names don’t matter; ‘copies have no rights’ it says on the cover as a tell-all), who are a member of hardcore/grind band Ksera. They formed an alliance under the guise of Millions Of Dead Tourists in April 2016 and apart from two bass guitars, the other equipment is played by Iason, and that includes ‘audiomulch, nanozwerg, erebus synths, pedal effects and sequencer’.
The five pieces on this self-titled CDR were recorded from May to September 2016. I had no idea what to expect really, and I was thinking something along the lines of Millions Of Dead Cops. That it is not. To me, but I’m sure this trio will see things entirely differently; Iason is the man who leads the troupe. There is quite a lot of sequencers and synthesizer sound to be noted in this music, and perhaps not a lot of bass guitar. It has not much to do with the world of hardcore or grindcore, and all with the alternative leanings of techno music. The bass guitar might very well be going through a bunch of sound effects, making it all light and thin, but it works well within the music. Should one not know this is a trio of musicians playing together, it could as easily pass as a one-man electronic army with a bunch of lo-fi apparatus, producing a wackier form of techno than one usually hears in a sweaty club. I very much enjoyed this crude take on techno, and towards the end, ‘The Day 1.71 Billion People Died And Went To Facebook” (which says probably they aren’t a laughing bunch) they go for some excellent minimalist guitar sound, acid synth, bass sequencer and a fine slow rhythm. I am not sure about the political side of all of this, but the music sounds quite all right. You should see me leaping up and down in the VW HQ.
(FdW)