Ana Helder Beating PC EP
In our review of last year's One Night in Cómeme, Vol. 1 (the inaugural release of the pan-Latin Cómeme label's compilation series), we described the Matias Aguayo-helmed imprint's stable of artists as a group that's "dead serious about being playful." With her second effort for the label, burgeoning Argentinian producer Ana Helder again fits right in with the label's characteristic approach, satisfying an appetite for off-the-wall sonics and eccentric production choices while never losing sight of a dancefloor where fun is given priority over power.
Helder's brand of dance music seems to have little concern for a grid, as its drum-machine house beats can sound like they were played live before being looped into four- and eight-bar phrases. The many bits of percussion and overlaying rhythms which join the swung kicks, snares, and hats also seem happy to not adhere to a strict timeline, yielding grooves which are intoxicatingly loose and carefree—a feeling that extends to the melodic and chordal aspects of Helder's tracks as well. On most of the Beating PC EP, the producer sounds like she is orchestrating a jam between the miniature keys, pleasantly toy-like synths, funky guitar, and post-punk-informed bass that appears in each of the record's five offerings. Seldom does a concrete structure shape the songs, but rather Helder allows the elements to freely run together, every so often dropping pieces at a moment's notice or turning abruptly into new themes.
The title track and following "Eat Me" are the strongest tracks birthed by Helder's adventurous approach. Focusing on tastefully sun-kissed musical themes, the tunes are infused with an inviting buoyancy due to their swinging drum loops and unexpectedly active basslines (which sound as if they were played on a real bass guitar). While the opening cut "Puqui" takes on a similar but more synth-focused approach to that heard on "Beating PC" and "Eat Me," the EP closes on a darker note with "Berberecho" and "Voy a Ver," working the record's recurring elements into more brooding atmospheres.
Only two official releases into her journey as a Cómeme affiliate, Ana Helder sounds like she's been here all along. Considering the label's distinctiveness and reputation, that is not a feat to be taken lightly.
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