David Helpling and Jon Jenkins are both veterans of ambient electronic music. Although we've been waiting eight years for a new album by David Helpling, his 1999 release Sleeping on the Edge of the World remains an Echoes favorite with its seductive melodies and rhythms. Jon Jenkins last graced us with his subtle and exotic orchestral electronics on Beyond City Light a couple of years ago.
Treasure is a deceptive recording as collaborations go. Just when you think you have a melody or groove nailed as coming from Helpling, an element slips in that makes you think, no, Jenkins must have created this moment. You can never be sure on a CD that revels in the sonic sleight of hand of moody atmospheres that morph like cloud drifts and intoxicating melodies played on instruments that are just on the edge of conventional timbres, but have something slightly off. But while Helpling is a sonic chameleon, his ringing guitar lines do add a comforting touchstone when you can recognize it on tracks like ‘The Knowing.’
My ears instantly go to the more rhythmic, quietly affirming tracks like ‘Grand Collision,’ ‘Treasure,’ and ‘The Knowing.’ These compositions emerge wraithlike out of swirling atmospheres and textures to quietly thundering percussion. But the texture works provide their own charm, like the siren-like loops of ‘Beyond Words’ or the cinematic expanse of ‘The Frozen Channel.’ That song actually began life as a soundtrack and the genesis of this project.
Treasure isn't something you discover, following the map to where X marks the spot. Instead, it's an album you'll cherish like a treasure, a secret, personal gift of lush, sonic immersion that carries a message from another world.
- John Diliberto, Echoes