Ana Helder – Soy Canalla review

Matias Aguayo’s Cómeme imprint was perhaps the most consistent label for fun, exciting electronic music last year, delivering 12” after 12” of eclectic and esoteric house and techno from his cadre of fellow South Americans that caught the ear of respected DJs like Weatherall, Smagghe and Sweeney. That the label is currently in a period of fallow time is offset somewhat by the appearance of one of Cómeme’s lesser spotted talents on another release-shy label in Astro Lab.

The Argentinean Ana Helder was responsible for the first Cómeme 12” of 2011, the quite excellent El Groove De Tu Corazon, and has retained a studious release silence ever since – no doubt soaking up all the fun to be had in Buenos Aires. Search the internet and there are clues Helder has other material under wraps; an Auntie Flo mix for this very publication included one such unreleased gem for example. Soy Canalla also hints that Helder should have a raft of labels sending delegations in the direction of Argentina with the intent of securing her tracks.

Whilst this 12” features only one Helder production, you have to congratulate Astro Lab for surrounding “Soy Canalla” with some excellent complimentary remixes and it’s a further example of the label’s good (if infrequent) curatorial skills – see Timothy J Fairplay’s excellent John Carpenter’s Sound for previous evidence. Helder essentially picks up where she left off over a year ago with “Soy Canalla”, splaying an uber slow industrial beat with an analogue bass line that sounds like its encountering digestive problems. It’s the bewitching array of slightly detuned organs and Argentine pan pipes that Helder weaves throughout that lends the track her individual touch however.

Two of the names mentioned above are called on to remix “Soy Canalla”, with Egyptian acid explorer Fairplay adding to his growing repute on a remix that teases out the spectral intricacies of the organ tones and plunges the track deep beneath grubby analogue saturation, sounding not unlike an unkempt Emperor Machine soundtracking B Movie horror films. It’s a mark of Fairplay’s growing talent that his remix matches the flipside effort from Ivan Smagghe in the accomplishment stakes, though both couldn’t sound any more different in execution. The Kill The DJ boss essentially crams all the production nuances demonstrated on his eminently collectable A Few Things With… compilations into a production that veers in all manner of textural directions whilst retaining its snapping punk-funk techno rhythm.  Cologne based artist and long term Astro Lab contributor Frank West adds his own unique take on proceedings with a short but sweet remix that casts the track as the sort of highly pressurised space booty dub Jimmy Edgar dabbles in on his forthcoming LP.

Tony Poland


Tracklisting:

A1. Soy Canalla
A2. Soy Canalla (Timothy J Fairplay remix)
B1. Soy Canalla (Ivan Smagghe remix)
B2. Soy Canalla (Frank West remix)