If you ever wondered what ambient music of the 21st century could sound like, then you should explore the musical spheres of “ifsonever”. This colorful debut-album draws a blueprint of an urban ambient club record of a parallel universe. A collage of beautifully improvised pieces, strictly recorded in “one takes”. A gripping fusion that brings together the warm analog textures of classic vintage synthesizers and electronic urban ambiences.
Trying to appreciate the recent times of silence and deceleration, Daniel Helmer aka ifsonever has quickly developed a tonal language as a solo artist. With a non-compromising approach he would visit his studio, a cozy garden shed, to record one new track a day in strictly analog fashion as “one takes”. His aim for this project was to capture the innocence and instinctive creative energy of the present moment. These 9 timeless pieces invite the listener to explore hypnotic and meditative atmospheres such as on the opener “transpose” or on “jonesy dreams of birds”, as well as gloomy and almost mystical sounding tracks such as “total global” or “an unexpected error has occurred”. ifsonever is a wonderful amalgamation of organic, laid-back sounds and electronic, club oriented elements.
Recorded at a time when social contact was forbidden and culture was at a standstill, many professional musicians felt challenged not to feel useless when performances and sessions in public were cancelled, while the need for expression, participation and communication persisted. What happens when you've read all your books, when you're tired of looking at screens, and when you're digitally saturated? Then the unbearable lightness of being will begin. Daniel Helmer decided to let his creativity flow into a picture depicting that moment in time. He gave himself the opportunity to reflect this period through the creation of music. Not always an easy thing to do when the only social interactions would be cats passing by or the sound of children playing nearby. However that can be exactly the perfect tranquil surrounding to ground oneself in the here and now and draw inspiration from the inside. This self titled album reflects a peaceful journey from start to finish.
Two old friends have been invited to contribute overdubs in hindsight. MillianX is a film composer and noise artist, a colleague from the viennese filmacademy. Both worked together on the film score for the science fiction movie „Rubikon" while the album was in its final stages. So a collaboration was an obvious choice. The creamy arpeggiated synthline created for „jonesy dreams of birds”' was extended by Millianx with some field recordings and a big cloudy synthwave that dips into a vast sea of noise.
Guido Spannocchi is a london based jazz musician. Both knew each other for several years but never had the chance to work together. When Daniel Helmer wrote „an unknown error has occured" he imagined a saxophone layer to accompany the existing synthline. But when the two musicians finally got together to record in the legendary jazz club „Porgy & Bess", Guido just let his creativity flow and jammed freely to the track with a totally unique jazz vibe.
Between film, music & sound Daniel Helmer is continuously searching for a spot to call his own. Expanding boundaries, pursuing the unheard and breaking genre definitions are byproducts of his curiosity and his drive to avoid repetition. Daniel Helmer resides in Vienna where he studied at the local film academy. He became one of the founding members of the techno-punk band “Gudrun von Laxenburg” with album releases on the legendary Skint label, collaborated with Sam Irl on “International Major Label” as the production duo “Mantra Mantra” and released an album as “Yogtze” on Gerd Janson’s imprint “Running Back Incantations”, together with Feater. At the moment he is focusing on his work as a film composer and is currently working on two feature films in Austria.
“ifsonever” offers a timeless ambience to help you slow down, reflect and enjoy the beauty of nothingness. It might help us to learn and accept a state of being unutilized without feeling futile and benefit from this rare silence.
The cover artwork is a collaboration between Jazz & Milk graphic designer Tim Schmitt and photographer Frank Hulsbömer. A scan of the artist's head, hand and foot was 3D printed, photographed and transformed into an otherworldly scenery that visualizes the musical atmosphere.
released October 28, 2022
p & c 2022 jazz & milk recordings & publishing
jmlp004 / lc15027 / gema / made in EU
all tracks written and produced by daniel helmer
except a3 with millian x and b2 with guido spannocchi
mixed by daniel helmer & sam irl / mastered by sam irl / cover by tim schmitt & frank hülsbömer