Boomkat Product Review:
Finally re-pressed! Having hit the shelves running with last year's piano-sodden 'Corduroy Road', the hard-working Keith Kenniff has slipped out of his Goldmund guise to reassume the Helios mantle and put together this lambent LP of expansive instrumentation and froth-flecked electronics. A student at Berkley College of Music in Boston, Kenniff's style may benefit from a firm understanding of what is required under-the-bonnet in terms of technical considerations, but never does he let the more austere elements of formal musical training encroach on the utterly sublime compositions that stretch as far as the eye can see. Opening with 'Bless This Morning Year', Helios provides a perfectly balanced bridge from previous album 'Unomia' - weaving pastoral charm and emotionally rich piano, delicate guitar and Eno-hatched synths, with the kind of eroded beats which seems poised perpetually on the cusp of majestic disintegration. Grandstanding without resorting to needless bombast, Helios understands that whilst reverence for your heroes is always expected, there's no need to produce a pale facsimile - with 'Eingya' giving the nod to Harold Budd, Eno, Basinski, Drake and Boards of Canada, whilst crafting a portmanteau of boxfresh aural treats. Tethered around the album standout and thematic spoke 'Dragonfly Across an Ancient Land', other highlights include the bellicose cloud of 'Vargtimme', the shimmering soundscape 'The Toy Garden' and the field-recording massage of 'Halving The Compass'. Lovely.