Remember back in 2011 when Gozamos presented you with Mamacita, that 90’s freestyle starlet? Well, the Chilean mistress of cool dropped some heavy hitting names, influences and friends at Cómeme who really motivated her along towards becoming a solo artist. One name stood out among the others. Of course Cómeme Records, famous for Matias Aguayo‘s excellence the world over, houses a plethora of other talent, including Ana Helder. Her name, less noted on the roster, perhaps only to those not in the know, should be on everyone’s tongue now. Mamacita said that, Helder, aside from being a “marvelous, and very beautiful person,” actually showed her how to use some nifty production programs she uses to this day. Helder encouraged the young backup singer for Javiera Mena to push herself, make beats and sing her heart out, paving the way for the artist we now know as Mamacita. Because it’s so rare you hear about woman producers in the male dominated electro synth world, Ana Helder’s name stuck in my head ever since.
Gender restrictions aside, one might of course think of other champion ladies doing the electro dance thing already, but Helder, of Rosario, Argentina has something special going on here. She hails from her indie-obscurity as a heroine of the Cómeme family. Who ever she is, and where ever she hides herself, it’s probably for the best, because boy do we love our mysteries. You’d be hard pressed to find any reviews, interviews or material about Helder online, which makes her hot stuff in my book. As, it’s my personal mission to present the freshest, untouched and untainted music from across the world, it’s with great honor I continue the trend since Mamacita debuted with us, to review Ana Helder’s second solo EP release with Cómeme. Beating PC is a great electro-house, techno-tinged release full of brooding, experimentally edging moments that remind you of an era of house music long lost and forgotten. It vapors dank and odiously across the senses the way good old basement house parties in Chicago used to invade and permeate.
My favorite track on Beating PC is hands down, “Berberecho” for its obscene darkness. The warbled heaviness of the track infects my being the way some of the best of Tensnake or Hernán Cattaneo does. While the rest of the EP wavers between optimism, nostalgia and slight experimentation, you can hear Helder’s weirder moments creeping out the edges of these numbers, a little more than Cómeme’s last star-powered and insidious, Daniel Maloso release. This album, a little lighter in tone, definitely has Helder’s stamp on it, pushing the contours of house to their limits in a way her male counterparts don’t seem to understand.
It’s almost elemental, like a fusion of left and right brain functionalities into a perfect balance, here in musical manifesto, the diluted essence of genre, a duality unfolded and tucked away simultaneously within the creveses of the brain. Beating PC isn’t poppy enough to be recognizable, but it isn’t as dismal or uninviting as one would expect. Helder presents tracks like the opening “Puqui” which start out with an odd Playstation sounding intro, then faze into disco wanderings past cloaked and elusive beats. By the time you get to “Eat Me” you’re thrust into an oceanic murmur that makes you wonder, “What are you doing here?” floating between worlds and sonic elusions to old school house and unexpected, wrenching screams as chorus. Helder likes to juxtapose sensibility with paranoia, warmth with dry ice. Rushing past the distraught and hurried feelings on “Berbecho” our final descent, the oddly cajoling, “Voy a ver” takes you on a twangy, guitar bounce to somewhere you wouldn’t expect at all.
Beating PC is an unexpected ride, a journey, where when surrendered to, one feels relieved and whole, touched with curiosity and longing for more.