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Thirty-eight years after its original release and twenty-five years after initially reissued, Heldon founder Richard Pinhas’ electronic epic based on Frank Herbert’s 1965 novel, Dune, receives a proper remastering, as well as its first vinyl edition since the original 1978 Cobra LP.
Though technically his second solo album, Chronolyse, named after a book by Michel Jeury so as not to be too commercially Dune, was actually recorded during the first half of 1976, concurrent with the Heldon Interface sessions. Pinhas had recently acquired a Moog P3 and Polymoog, which he set up with the two Revox A700s in his home “Heldon Studio” to explore the possibilities of analog electronics as they related to the philosophical ideas of relative time and space expressed in the inspirational novels. The first side of the album stays true to this through seven short, pulsing, minimalist electronic meditations on Dune’s “Bene Gesserit” race, followed by a cyber-fanfare for the military aide “Duncan Idaho.” The second side changes shape, however, with the megalithic thirty-minute “Paul Atreides,” named after the main hero of the story. Here, Pinhas laid down an extended take of his classic proto-industrial electronic sound, which he then expanded with Heldon’s drummer, François Auger, and bassist, Didier Batard, as well as his own futuristic guitar leads. The result is easily one of Heldon’s heaviest tracks, whether or not it was officially by them.
Richard Pinhas has continued to release music, from solo experimental walls of noise to collaborations with Merzbow, Tatsuya Yoshida and Oren Ambarchi, even an astounding reformed vision of Heldon, but Chronolyse will always be one of his highest peaks. The future has yet to catch up.
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