Marc Hellner Marriages

After helping out with fellow Chicagoans L’Altra and also being one half of Pulseprogramming, Marc Hellner proves his own mettle with his dark, luscious songs coming to full life with the help of subtle beat producers Telefon Tel Aviv. Let there be no doubt, the marriages on Hellner’s mind are not happy unions, as the closest one gets to an upbeat tempo is "Nonsense & Happiness,” which just grazes some trance beats, but is closer in spirit to some darker Röyksopp, or even Telefon Tel Aviv’s own work. Putting this on during a sunny summer day may not be the best idea, but, late at night, this is magical, enthralling music. Look to the slow beats and drifting guitar of "Mine Is Made Of” for a perfect example of ready-made headphone heaven, or take in Hellner’s slight voice, wonderfully overlapped and harmonised, on "Both of Use.” Of course, for true melancholy, look to the closer "Orphea,” which drops the beats entirely and instead goes for subtle sound manipulation behind a molasses-paced piano. For those who love their downbeat musings wrapped in a wonderful glossy sound, this definitely is a marriage made in heaven. (Peacefrog)