Helena Celle

If You Can't Handle You At Your Worst, ...

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If You Can’t Handle You At Your Worst, Then I Don’t Deserve Me At My Best Dedicated 21st Century polymath Kay Logan continues to expand her soundworld in every direction at once with her Helena Celle alias. A maximalist internal landscape of broken Jungle patterns, distorted synths and heavily warped instrumentation bent out of cognisance, If You Can’t Handle You At Your Worst, Then I Don’t Deserve Me At My Best is Logan’s most danceable, most fun and most gloriously congealed record to date. Conceived in part as a response to her 2016 debut release If I Can’t Handle Me At My Best, You Don’t Deserve You At Your Worst, 2023’s update employs similar principles (degrading technology, the joy of chance, an outsider’s gaze onto the dance floor, an embracing of the occult) to delirious effect. If “I Can’t Handle” was lo fi and fragile in its technoid recasting of dance music, here Logan’s confidence allows a frantic playfulness that retains the spontaneity of all her output. It’s the work of a creative spirit revelling in the possibilities of sound, rhythm, texture and pattern. Helena Celle’s music opens up psychic space in front of the listener and invites them in. In this world, sounds and tropes once recognisable are rendered fractal, spectral and continually melting in and out of recognition. Simply put, Helena Celle might be detouring Drum & Bass, Techno and Breakbeat with a prankster’s grin but the result is pure ecstasy crushed into a part of the listener’s consciousness hitherto untroubled. Opener I Did It My Way pokes fun at Sinatra but the message is clear, Helena Celle has no regrets. Sounding like a Jungle track shorn of a MC and deep fried in greasy acid, it uses cassette compression effects to push the sound far beyond the red. A breakbeat suffers multiple lashings of noise solos, heavily filtered synths and white noise blowing a crazy gale across the stereo pan. Ennobled Reception Of The Excellector (My Face When Mix) approximates French House perhaps or 90s dance chart music as performed by a rotting homunculus gurgling down the phone. It’s really that fun and carefree. Real Time… takes a stab at a kind of Techno EBM Cold Wave with no desire to sound like any of it, with waves of tape hiss rising up from some dark shore to wash over proceedings. Fellow sound artist and musician Jennifer Walton guests on the last track on Side A, an epic, fuzzed out Noise and rhythm excursion into cyber breakdown. Snow-Filled Chalice Of My Magonian Exile (titles of the year so far, right?) builds into a wall of beats, pads, manic, haywire synth patterns and a world-ending, distorted riff that points to an appreciation of Metal. The track posits all of reality as one massive computer game played by gods and this is the track played at the Game Over screen. A pixelated, fantastical club track that would simply eviscerate any club it was played in. The whole of Side B is given over to a 20 minute epic, Original Besttrack (Abe’s Oddysee Extended Mix). A cohesive summation of the previous 4 tracks but stretched out, it recalls Aphex Twin’s furthest out tracks albeit boiled underwater, every element blown out so that even the ambient passages scramble brains and re-wire expectations. The restless, overwhelming music is glazed with a patina of hiss that renders the whole almost meditative: over the 20 minutes there is so much information to digest your brain starts plugging in directly to the music, settling in and accepting the mania as it comes. At the other end you’re wondering how you coped without it. In truth, it can be a full time job keeping up with Logan’s ceaseless creative spirit, her prodigious output can be wilfully bewildering and is all the more exciting for it. Beginning her solo recording career as a teenager under the Helena Celle alias, Logan has progressed into almost every conceivable area of future music. Exploring eldritch, aleatoric chamber music under the name Time Binding Ensemble and Residents-influenced slices of distinct bricolage under Otherworld, Logan’s career has spanned multiple labels, genres and mediums. A regular writer for The Wire magazine, she is also active in programming, game and sound design and has appeared on live stages around the world both performing music and lecturing on sound and its social context and implications. Through her Patreon page she releases new music monthly and continues to play music in other groups and collaborations. It’s important, though, to reach in to the flowing music and single out a single volume of work, a signpost in an artist’s career. If You Can’t Handle You At Your Worst, Then I Don’t Deserve Me At My Best is one example of this, a mesmerising, virtuoso simultaneous take down and celebration of Dance Music and all its ridiculousness. Because that’s the way it should be, right? 1. I Did It My Way 2. Ennobled Reception of The Excellector (My Face When Mix) 3. Real Time (Five Track Pentangle Edgelord Mix) 4. Snow-Filled Chalice of My Magonian Exile (ft Jennifer Walton) 5. Original Besttrack (Abe's Oddysee Extended Mix)

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Details

Release Date

21.04.2023

Cat No

LSSN080

Tracklist

Track 1
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Track 2
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Track 3
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Track 4
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