We are always excited to be a part of writing about artist collaborations, because of the idea of two creative forces working for one another. So today we get to be a part of one! Thanks to Kaelyn Gray, at Gravitas Recordings, we were asked to do a write up on some incredibly eccentric music coming from the label. So this time, we are bringing you the sensational music of Govinda’s latest release, ‘Burning Rings of Helios’.
‘Burning Rings of Helios’ is a seven-track album brought to us by the Austin-based artist Govinda. The album is loaded with the electronic sounds that everyone in this genre loves, while also weaving in many classical instruments. This is a sound that really takes the music of all genres, dissects it, and then reassembles it into this wonder-inspiring Frankenstein. It is so exciting that the first time we interact with Govinda, and his style, is on an album- where we can see his production coming from so many different angles. Each angle brings light to different attributes that make Govinda so wildly talented.
Introducing us to Burning Rings of Helios is the track ‘CObra STyle’. The track opens up with a lonesome string line. The echoing pull of the strings moves so freely through our skulls and cuts into the building of the song. From the violin strings, this other worldly bass line explodes while being cocooned with these raw instrumental sounds. Presenting this wonky and astrological bass line allows each string and high-end sample to cut like a beam of light through the darkness. Contrast emerges as a defining factor of the song and really makes this track even stronger of a start to the album.
We are left floating in this other world created by Govinda, as we move into ‘Goblin King’. The track has the same very wonky space invasion soundscape, though it brings up the pace a tad. The song then drifts upward as we see the introduction of another organic element: voice. The female vocals serve to bring the contrast that makes Govinda’s music such a sensory ride. This song is, even more, a yin-yang sort of track. When we hear the dark sounds, the light ones are only lightly present and vice versa. Such a cool effect gives this song a sort of bounce, even while seeming to be lower and darker.
‘Inside Your World’ slows us back down quite a bit and becomes more of a ride through the apocalyptic streets of Venice. The song creates this very floating feeling that is constantly burst by the hard bass pounds. The song creates a sense of tragic dangerous beauty, all while keeping us curious with the female vocal that invites us. You can feel the movement and scene changing around you. The song brings us to our destination and indicates it has with that last chime.
‘Nebulous Space’ comes in strong with a piano-riff, voice, violin-solo combo. The song starts higher pitched than the former tracks and has this very broken neon feeling. This is to say the darkness is lit, but not fully and with an obscure source. ‘Nebulous Space’ chimes and pulls us along. Orchestrating a feeling of tinkering with reality, the track is the desire we have to wander into the dark manifesting and bringing us strange delight.
Bring in the jazz! ‘Smokey Memories’ takes the classic sounds of old brass band night clubs and fuses it with the other world. It feels like a trip back in time. The smoke of lit cigarettes morphes and catches the changing lights. The two combined with your mind play out stories and paint them in front of you. This song brings an anxious relaxation- you are at peace with your corrupted mind. It’s smooth sailing on the dark seas.
‘Bent Cipher’ seems to be beautiful music traveling through a muffled drain pipe at first. There is this wonderful cover over the sound of strings that is then built on with clear electronic sound. It feels like making something beautiful out of something incomplete. Urging the true nature to emerge, and it works. Everything frames that initial sound to very well, so much so that everything built on top is groovy.
Closing out the spectacle album is ‘Twisted’. If the track does not scream Tim Burton, then I do not know what does. ‘Twisted’ is a carousel melody slowed and sprinkled with spiders. It oozes creepy darkness while maintaining this aspect of youthful livelihood. It’s dark magical! And still utilizes the broad talent Govinda constantly has demonstrated through the whole album.
Govinda is a magical facilitated journey through the dark and scary. Nothing takes us too far or stretches our fear too much. It all is controlled, well-produced, and most importantly well-thought-out. ‘Burning Rings of Helios’ is a fantastic taste of the importance that organic sounds and instruments play in the new age of electronic music making. Govinda is another artist on the forefront of stretching musical boundaries and making them touch and cross. Thank you again so much to Kaelyn for the opportunity to talk about this artist!
Until next time.