StringStrang is a new project of Jan Kees Helms. The music is a follow-up of the netreleases StringStrang and
StrangString. Both releases where highly composed with a computer. The next step is to compose the music is real-time in combination with field-recordings which will be mixed through the guitar-microphone.
StringStrang is about repetition, atmosphere, harmony and contradictions. A mix of guitardrones, fieldrecordings and images will complete and counteract each other.
StringStrang will be played live in combination with video-images.
StringStrang One is released in june 2011 at The Verato Project of Suggestion Records in Germany. Limited edition of 60 CD-r's.
Review Vital Weekly 788
Jan Kees Helms, these days known as writer for these pages has a long history in experimental music, through Little Seed and his Lor Teeps label, then a few years of hibernation and these days back under his own name and apparently now also as StringStrang. This new project deals with 'repetition, atmosphere, harmony and contradiction. Everything was recorded on the spot without any overdubs. He uses guitar drones and field recordings. To me, but I haven't heard all of his work, this seems a shift away from his earlier stuff, and moving more firmly into the field of drones/ambient/soundscapes; the crowded field as its not easy not to think of bands like Fears Falls Burning/Microphonics and Machinefabriek, both of them quite active with releases of this kind of music. Helms hasn't necessarily found his own voice with this, but these five lengthy pieces are fine works of dark ambiance resonating through the six strings. Not easy to say to which extend the field recordings are used here; I found it hard to say if there were any at all. One negative aspect is that there is some mild distortion here and there, perhaps due to the 'recording in one take' aspect of this. Once that is smoothed out, in the second track, things improve greatly. Good start for a new direction. (FdW)