Found – Helpling . Jenkins
Found is a lush album of instrumental beauty that is not easy to categorise: there are smooth ambient elements; deep spacey expanses; tribal rhythms and heaving drums; moving themes that both uplift and defy gravity. The album exudes tranquillity and restful bliss – plenty of drifting, dreamy passages brimming with reverb and an overall vibe of enigmatic reverie. However, this is not simple relaxation music (although Found is ideal for that purpose) there is much here to engross and awe the listener and draw us into worlds of wonder and imagination. The title track features a delightfully underplayed wordless vocal from Miriam Stockley, her voice hanging far into the mix, entwined amid the synths like layers of fog and atmospheric haze. Electric guitars and synthesisers form most of the lustrous textures on Found, light piano touches adding an extra twinkle to some of the melodies.
The packaging of Found is as attractive as the music: a three panel card wallet of saturated colour and inspirational imagery. The front cover image depicts a rock mass rising from a flat plain backlit by an amber-umber sky that fades through purple to indigo above. The crag appears as a destination with the title sitting immediately below whilst a white streak in the sky suggests a greater picture. The rear cover drops the camera down into the grass of the plain, the last rays of sunlight painting the arcing blades in shades of copper and rust. Track titles are here with the time of each piece to the side. The third outer panel moves in closer to the enigmatic crag – now shrouded in mists and crepuscular blues; this same shot is repeated within as the centre of a three panel panorama. Credits, recording details and thanks are neatly tucked into the shadows of the rightmost inner section. A website address is here too.
Found is released as the final chapter of a three-album series; Treasure and The Crossing having previously charted the course that has taken six years to unfold. David Helpling and Jon Jenkins rightly remain with Spotted Peccary who delivered the other releases in the series and you can explore the music via the label’s website where there is also a Soundcloud link and further review links. The recordings on Found are of mid-length, ranging from the opening and concluding pieces both at five minutes thirty one seconds to the delicate, beatless Only Ashes at thirteen eleven. Promotional material talks of “the deep, three-dimensional quality to the recording” and music on a “grand scale … filled with powerful rushes of adrenaline, beauty, loss and triumph – true words. A really fitting conclusion to an epic project of astounding music.