As any filmmaker knows, one of the most powerful aspects of music is its ability to construct emotional arcs and guide narrative by purely sonic means. Simultaneously ethereal and concrete, both spectral and textural, Planet X—the debut collaboration between guitarist Erdem Helvacioglu and violist Ulrich Mertin—tells the story of the appearance in the sky of a new heavenly body and follows one hapless explorer’s quest to discover what lies at its heart.
Over the course of two years, Helvacioglu and Mertin composed and crafted this project, building up layers of jagged scratching sounds, plaintive melodies, percussive hits, and dark drones. The two artists grounded the sound of the album in strings but also employed unorthodox recording techniques, sophisticated processing algorithms, and multi-tracking to achieve a rich, complex, resonant texture. Throughout, the sound is unmistakably forwardlooking, evocative of the project’s science fiction themes
and redolent of the eerie, sometimes dark feel of sci-fi films like “Alien,” “Moon,” and “2001.”
"Planet X" was included in the "BEST ALBUMS OF 2012" list on the Canadian Radio CJSW 90.9 FM.
Erdem Helvacioglu : Togaman GuitarViol, electric guitar, drum programming and electronics
Ulrich Mertin : Viola, 5-string electric violin, vocals
"Planet X is an EXTRAORDINARILY INVENTIVE and FASCINATING album of essentially electronic music, and I can recommend it highly on its musical content alone."
Lynn Rene Bayley, Fanfare magazine
"What is so surprising about the program is how effective the sounds Helvacioglu and Mertin have chosen are. The approach, chase, torture, self reflection, and transformation are all captured wonderfully with the electronics, guitar, distortions, and drum processing."
Kraig Lamper, AMERICAN RECORD GUIDE Magazine
"A fine collaboration...String music depicting an epic interplanetary drama. A modern take on a troubled form of kosmische musik. Successful, with finely-detailed arrangements and production. “Gradual Annihilation of the Mind” is a fascinating downward spiral."
MONSIEUR DELIRE Magazine
"Beautiful textures collide with some very diserning electric guitar/string playing and mucho tasty production. Giant sound collages at once gorgeous and terrifying."
Mike Maguire, AMAZON