Review: Keep Away From Heat – Helium Bliss

When I reviewed pndc’s ‘Fading Away’ back in May, I was impressed by the modern European electronic music that had been created. The only problem was that the record lacked warmth. In fairness, his nearest soundalikes Colder and DK7 suffer the same problem but the man behind the moniker, Predrag Nedic from Serbia, has answered that mild criticism almost immediately with another of his projects, Keep Away From Heat. The result is ‘Helium Bliss’; a record orientated less towards clinical dance music and more towards ambient/dreampop music.

‘Everyting… Senseless’ is equal parts elegiac keyboard piece, sampled female vocals and electronic layers. The main highlights, though, are ‘Heavy Metal Birds’ which merges shoegaze effects with insistent, hypnotic beats and elegant strings whilst the Air-like melodies at the heart of the sumptuous ‘Des Notes De Clementines’ similarly impress. Also, ‘Tear Me Apart’ is tight and vaguely danceable and is the only track which could have appeared on a pndc release.

Unfortunately, towards the second half of the record, Nedic seems to lose his way. The effects are too much for ‘Toys’ – an over-egged sugar rush of an instrumental which matches M83 for its lack of subtlety – and ‘Rainbow Drops’, which is slower but lacks a hook. It’s also hard to remember the final two tracks once the CD has stopped playing.

Overall, ‘Helium Bliss’ is a dreamy album, which usually features a rhythmic undertow but loses momentum as quality control isn’t maintained to the end of the record. It does, however, add another string to the bow for Nedic, who is now demonstrating he is one of Europe’s more versatile exponents of electronic music.

Web Sites:
Keep Away From Heat MySpace

Further Listening:
pndc, M83, Air

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