There is a playfully cryptic euphoria embedded in Luke Younger’s work as Helm. An expansive constellation of references from across electronic music converge in his output, driving its narrative in and out of the heights of exploratory sound practices, covertly repurposing pop’s prosthetic limbs on the side.
His latest record, World In Action, broaches the ever-present—and ever agitated—political thread that has been pulled through the project’s most opaque regions with a reinvigorated immediacy and purpose.
Recorded across East London, South-East Kent and Snaresbrook Crown Court at the height of the UK media’s attempt at divining integrity from the orchestrated turbulence of Brexit, World In Action presents four pieces that juggle the documentation of this particular moment with the desire to discern motivation from despair.
Frenetic woodwind instrumentation is guided through cyclonic synth pads in slow motion, while Valentina Magaletti’s percussion scatters the surface, scrambling the after-image of each piece as it propels us to the next. With a nod to industrial rock’s breakbeat excursions, field recordings drenched in longer than long ago gather these elements into a worn path through unimaginable terrain.
The track titles recollect a time of just accountability and presence in the UK’s mass media. This is a direct manoeuvre on Younger’s part, setting World In Action up as a sceptical, yet hopeful work, unafraid of the deep political anguish that underpins its intent.