Helax is John Alexander Ericson, once keyboardist with Anglo-Swedish rock band Alberta Cross and now one half of the dream pop duo The Ghost of Helags, which we’ve featured recently and which will soon release its debut album. He’s also, with his brother Petter who was joint founder of Alberta Cross, in a band called Brynäs (we’ll get round to featuring them), which is the name of a Swedish ice hockey team. Don’t ask.
Helags, Helax, Alexander - is there a connection there? I guess so.
Helax is more in the way of ambient electronic sounds than Ghost of Helags. The last song I reviewed (‘Tell Me, Tell Me’), quite a while ago now and from his EP, was an ode to Hamburg, it’s harbour (depleted now but still huge) and the red light district next to it and was more of a dance track but a superior one.
‘A Place with No Memory’ comes across as a film or TV score and a classy one at that, if perhaps more appropriate to another era. It runs through a broad range of instruments from piano to various synthesiser effects to synth pads which take quite a hammering at the end. Not quite Brian Eno’s ‘Music for Airports’, more Music for Roadworks.
I could imagine the latter part of it being used in Miami Vice, perhaps in a car chase scene. Or, as a picture of the Moon accompanies the Spotify track, perhaps in the ‘Apollo 13’ film.
Whichever way you look at it, it is a sophisticated piece of music. I wonder if songs like this are interspersed in Ghost of Helags’ live performances. After all, Teresa Woischiski, the other half of that duo, got to sing on ‘Tell Me, Tell Me’, so something tells me they have plenty of room for manoeuvre between them.
Perhaps one day we’ll find out.