Helios - Veriditas - LP
Ghostly International

Helios - Veriditas - LP

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On respective edges of America - Oregon and Maine - Keith Kenniff records quiet music at night. "When things are calmer," he says. "My mind is less distracted when I know that everything is dark outside." For over a decade, such has been the mode - nocturnal, unrushed, using the same mini-cassette recorder, "a lovely little imperfect way to treat sounds" - for one of the country's most understated composers. Kenniff has housed dozens of ambient releases under the name Helios since 2004, alongside post-classical output as Goldmund, shoegaze pop with his wife Hollie as Mint Julep, and commissions for film and television. It is a reliably transportive body of work that's earned Kenniff a cult following, and a genuine modesty that's kept him on the fringes, right where he prefers, in the dark.  Veriditas, the sixth Helios full-length, introduces unusual shapes and landscapes to the Helios catalog. Whereas past songs have followed traditional structures - discernable bell curves with beginnings, arcs, and ends - the focus here is texture and harmony. "I wanted to explore emotionality within something more static." Synth-tones radiate and hum as vignettes, often crisp and cloudless, other times smeared to a queasy Boards of Canada-like unease.

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