Boomkat Product Review:
Birds of Delay co-pilot Luke Younger has recently been getting lots of attention for his solo endeavours, both as a recording artist (as Helm), and as boss of Alter Records, home to laudably lopsided, compelling releases from the likes of Hieroglyphic Being and Design A Wave. Helm is all about Younger's fetish for high-density drone-work, and indeed Cryptography is as claustrophobic and forbidding as it is seductive; it's also the most mature and affecting work we've ever heard from him. Two long tracks dominate the LP: 'I' is the kind of queasy, oneiric dark ambient that'd give Lustmord and Inade pause for thought, while 'III' affects a more industrial edge, with its layers of what sound like field recordings from a munitions factory in Soviet Russia - remarkably, Younger coaxes a strange beauty out of these grinding, metallic elements. Elsewhere we have ominous gongs and belltones, make-do-and-mend percussion, uncanny fairground chimes and, in short closing piece 'V', a sleep-deprived, melancholic string lament worthy of Leyland Kirby. Superb.