Drop & Listen: Burning Rings of Helios

Photos via Govinda

I was aimlessly scrolling through SoundCloud, when I came across an unfamiliar artist and album title: Govinda and his album, Burning Rings of Helios, released last week on Gravitas Records. I had never heard of the Austin based producer and composer and was unsure of what he was going to bring to the electronic table. I had always been open to listening to new music, though, and so I decided to give the album a try—and I am so grateful that I did!

This seven-track album takes you into the realms of a fiery, yet almost just as tranquil, dimension filled with spunky violin intonation and beautifully morphed basslines. The journey starts with “CObra Style,” which begins with an introspective, classical violin timbre and then takes listeners into a desert haze of gypsy-like electronic sounds. Continuing on is “Goblin King,” which entrances the audience with sonic glitches and soothing, upbeat vocal accents that leave one feeling relaxed, but also wanting to arise and dance. Next is “Inside Your World,” which allows travelers to explore the haunting, yet alluring, depths of bass music with subtle wubs and tantalizing vocals.

“Nebulous Space” follows, and this track is my personal favorite. As soon as the song starts, an almost-folky, seductive violin strum begins followed by spacey wubs and downtempo distortions. The juxtaposition of these two very different sounds is so voluptuous that you really start to wander the cryptic depths of your mind while being hypnotized.

Next is “Smokey Memories,” which is highly entrancing as well, with a more soft, bluesy harmony, possibly allowing listeners to retrospect on past times. Traveling further on the voyage is “Bent Cipher,” which is full of dynamic, electrifying vibrations with a jazzy kick and brassy sounds.

Lastly, ending the trek through luminous, psychedelic cosmos, is the song, “Twisted.” This finale track ties together the sounds that were incorporated previously along the journey, leaving the listener’s mind distorted with awing hums, circus-like, creeping melodies, swampy basslines, and of course, the beautiful assimilated violin.

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I have always had a great love for electronic bass music, so this album already left a respectable mark, but now with lively summer nights full of warm bonfires and meditative camping, I have rediscovered my love for rich but simple folk music, so the exquisite violin compositions alongside of the dark and mysterious basslines left me grinning from ear to ear.

If you love worldly dance music and the beautiful accents of instruments that are not always integrated in the typical domain of electronic music today, go ahead and check out Govinda’s Burning Rings of Helios. The brilliantly put-together album will leave you exploring both the mystical and perplexing depths and ranging and vibrant outskirts of time, space, and your own mind. You will not regret giving this album a listen, and be on the lookout for Govinda making his appearance at major festivals this summer!

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