Notes & Reviews:
As any filmmaker knows, one of the most powerful aspects of music is its ability to construct emotional arcs and guide narrative by purely sonic means. Simultaneously ethereal and concrete, both spectral and textural, Planet X - the debut collaboration between guitarist Erdem Helvacioglu and violist Ulrich Mertin - tells the story of the appearance in the sky of a new heavenly body and follows one hapless explorer's quest to discover what lies at its heart. Over the course of two years, Helvacioglu and Mertin composed and crafted this project, building up layers of jagged scratching sounds, plaintive melodies, percussive hits, and dark drones. The two artists grounded the sound of the album in strings but also employed unorthodox recording techniques, sophisticated processing algorithms, and multi-tracking to achieve a rich, complex, resonant texture. Throughout, the sound is unmistakably forward-looking, evocative of the project's science fiction themes and redolent of the eerie, sometimes dark feel of sci-fi films like "Alien," "Moon," and "2001."
American Record Guide, March / April 2013
What is so surprising about the program is how effective the sounds Helvacioglu and Mertin have chosen are. The approach, chase, torture, self reflection, and transformation are all captured wonderfully with the electronics, guitar, distortions, and drum processing. Glimmers of post-rock and science fiction movies inform the pieces.
Personnel: Erdem Helvacioglu (electric guitar, drum programming, electronics); Ulrich Mertin (vocals, viola).
Recording information: Helvacioglu Studio, Istanbul.