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Baker's Dozen

Curiosity, Community, Cacophony: Helm's Baker's Dozen
Mat Colegate , November 17th, 2021 12:56

Helm, aka Luke Younger, takes us through the 13 records that shaped his prolific career, from a teenage love of Manic Street Preachers and Therapy? to chance encounters with Bob Tilton and John Luther Adams


Medicine – The Buried Life

I first heard about them because their drummer, Jim Goodall, was a touring member of Whitehouse for a US tour. I saw their name pop up in that context but never really thought to explore them, and then I found their first album was released by Creation. I thought it was interesting that a guy who played in Whitehouse had also released a record on Creation and that it deserved further investigation. I really liked the first Medicine album when I heard it, but this is the one that absolutely clicked with me from the moment I started playing it. I just think it sounds completely insane. Going back to that Dinosaur Jr. thing again, you’ve got this really thick sound but a massive pop sensibility as well. It makes My Bloody Valentine sound like Shed Seven. It’s difficult to even think of it as shoegaze, because of how extreme it feels. I read somewhere that he got that guitar sound because it was going through pedals and a four track, which basically compressed they hell out of it. So it comes out as this super compressed, shrill guitar sound.

In a lot of shoegaze there’s that sense of the music overtaking you - like you have to surrender to it. Is that something that’s important to you?

In a live setting, definitely. It’s important to try and hit moments like that. It’s kind of what it’s about in a way, isn’t it? You want to present the music in the most full and heavily realised way possible. Having a massive PA allows you to hit those moments harder than you would do on a record. And I guess there’s a whole thing about live performance as well, where everyone’s experiencing it together. There’s that communal thing that adds to the experience.