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Planet X

Helvacioglu / Mertin
Release Date: 10/30/2012 
Label:  Innova   Catalog #: 798   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Erdem Helvacioglu
Performer:  Erdem HelvaciogluUlrich Mertin
Number of Discs: 1 
Length: 0 Hours 44 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

HELVACIOGLU Planet X Erdem Helvacioglu (TogaManGuitarViol,electric gtr,drum programming,elec); Ulrich Mertin (va,5-string electric vn,vocal) INNOVA 798 (44:22)

Without warning, a new object—Planet X—appeared in the heavens: a mysterious entity intruding upon a vast ancient system. Hailed as a paradise by some, an expeditionary force discovered instead that it represents a menace to human existence. Hunted by a Read more superior alien intelligence, an explorer is trapped and used as a test for the ultimate assimilation and extermination of humanity. This is the tale of his doomed fight, grasping for the last snatches of his soul.

The above paragraph, set in white lettering on a pale burnt orange background, is the sum total of the liner note for this CD. Since I’m not into sci-fi or anything remotely resembling it, I really expected this to be 44 minutes’ worth of musical garbage. Imagine my surprise, then, to discover that this is music written at a very high level of invention, sometimes quite lyrical in an eerie, minor-key sort of way (Db-Minor, to be precise), albeit with interjections of electronic sounds to give it that other-worldly atmosphere.

The music is difficult to describe despite its reliance (for the most part) on tonality. Some of the lines are dolorous, reminding me of the Celtic “hit” CD of some years back, Secret Garden. Not being familiar with the capabilities of the “TogaMan GuitarViol,” I can’t say whether that is the background instrument that I hear which resembles a cello at times or if that sound is generated by electronics. The music is divided into eight sections, each with a title:

Planet X

The Hunted

Gradual Annihilation of the Mind

Point of No Return


A Particle in the Vastness of Space

Final Transformation

Anima Aeterna

With each succeeding track, the shards of tonal music are decreased while the amount of electronic sounds is increased, but the change is gradual and the mind is thus able to grasp them and assimilate the flow of the sounds one hears.

I think what makes this album so fascinating is that the gradual disintegration of the human element in the aliens’ victim can easily be transferred in one’s mind to the gradual disintegration of humanity in today’s outsourced manufacturing jobs, many of which are little more than slave labor. Or, since Helvacioglu is Turkish, perhaps it has something to do with the brainwashed mindset of Islamic Jihadists? Who knows? Our modern Earth may be the Planet X described by Helvacioglu in this music. In any event, this is an extraordinarily inventive and fascinating album of essentially electronic music, and I can recommend it highly on its musical content alone. Happy alien hunting!

FANFARE: Lynn René Bayley
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Works on This Recording

Planet X by Erdem Helvacioglu
Performer:  Erdem Helvacioglu (Guitar/Electronics), Ulrich Mertin (Electric Violin/Voice)

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