Exposé Online banner

Heldon — IV: Agneta Nilsson
(Cuneiform Rune 60, 1976/1994, CD)

Heldon — V: Un Rêve Sans Conséquence Spéciale
(Cuneiform Rune 65, 1976/1995, CD)

by Dan Casey, Published 1995-07-01

IV: Agneta Nilsson Cover artV: Un Rêve Sans Conséquence Spéciale Cover art

With these two reissues over the last few months, Cuneiform have faithfully completed their exhaustive Pinhas/Heldon reissue series. While both of these albums are rightly considered transitional albums in the progression of the Heldon history, both are essential in order to completely comprehend where the seeds were sown for the powerhouse Interface and Stand By. Agneta Nilsson begins with a classic Moog/Mellotron perspective that is so rich it could serve as a demo piece in a museum exhibit on how to use a Moog. The remainder of the first "side" continues on in the experimental synth/percussion mode in a fairly laid back key. But when the side-long closer "Perspective IV" kicks in with drummer Coco Roussel and Patrick Gauthier guesting on a Moog lead, it is Heldon at their wild, raucous best.

The enigmatic Un Rêve Sans Conséquence Spéciale finds Gauthier a permanent part of the line-up along with drummer Francois Auger. Here the band begins to define their heavier, more rhythmic style with pioneering use of sequencers blended with the legendary Pinhas guitar sound. Augmented by two live bonus tracks (one of them an excerpt from Agneta Nilsson, the other an alternate version of "MVC" from Un Rêve), the album itself is somewhat more predictable and overall a bit less desirable than its predecessor. Of particular interest is the guest spot by Jannick Top on the quarter-hour "Toward the Red Line." Kudos to Cuneiform for honoring their commitment to this series despite the ashamedly poor sales figures it has posted. Heldon ranks among the best of the pioneering electronic bands from the 70s, and they are particularly important because of their hyper-schizophrenic personalities and the raw power and aggression that other bands of that mold (e.g. Tangerine Dream) never even envisioned. Both discs are recommended, and essential to the Heldon completist.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 7, 1994 releases, 1976 recordings, 1995 releases

Related artist(s): Jannick Top, Richard Pinhas, Heldon, Patrick Gauthier, Coco Roussel, Michel Ettori

Latest news

2017-04-16
ProgDay 2017 Announces First Bands – Flor de Loto, Sonar, and Infinien are the first three performers to be announced for the 2017 edition of the long-running ProgDay Festival. The 23rd ProgDay takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd, at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. » Read more

2017-04-16
Allan Holdsworth RIP – Surely in the list of artists who have contributed to the sound of modern music, there is a special spot for guitarist Allan Holdsworth. His name is known to virtually every student of the instrument in jazz and rock, and his style has been so widely emulated that it's hardly worth mentioning anymore — we can just assume that every guitarist has Holdsworth as an influence. » Read more

2017-02-20
Larry Coryell RIP – One of the greats of jazz guitar has left us at the age of 73. Larry Coryell was one of the founding figures of jazz fusion, but produced a significant body of work the bridged many styles. His group Eleventh House provided a unique take on the combination of jazz and rock that was distinct from contemporaries such as Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever, and Weather Report. » Read more

2017-01-31
John Wetton RIP – After a long battle with colon cancer, singer and bassist John Wetton has died at the age of 67. As an integral member of such bands as King Crimson, UK, and Asia, his was one of the distinctive voices in progressive rock, lending a human touch to often difficult music. » Read more

2017-01-30
Seaprog Announces First Artists for 2017 – The organizers of the Seaprog Festival in Seattle have announced the first set of confirmed performers for the 2017 festival. The best known names are Jack o' the Clock and Zero Times Everything, but a host of other bands are featured, mostly from the Northwest. The festival will take place June 2-4, 2017. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Sylvan - Artificial Paradise – There's lot of music in the land between mainstream and neo-prog, and this is another one. They hail from Germany and this is their third effort. The music is thoroughly composed and produced, still...  (2004) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues