I was first turned on to David Helpling through some kind of if you like this, you might like that feature on an Internet-based music listening service. It’s hard to remember how all of the dots connected over the past decade or so. The two albums he made with collaborator Jon Jenkins, The Crossing (2010) and Found (2013), ended up on heavy rotation for me, especially when the time of day calls for something ambient, but still requires energy and movement. Both albums are quite cinematic and while they’re filled with dreamy and ethereal sounds, they play like great movie soundtracks. I kept those two albums on my radar over the years but never dug too deeply into the artists’ stories until recently, when I wasn’t surprised to learn that Helpling does do a lot of film soundtrack work.
In 2017, Helpling released A Sea Without Memory, a five-song ambient guitar record with a running time that exceeds an hour. It has become a favorite go-to morning album for easing me into a new day. Although this album was co-produced by Jon Jenkins, A Sea Without Memory is more ambient, more ethereal, and more hypnotic than their previous collaboration albums. He uses his signature guitar tones that are completely recognizable throughout all of his work to create slow, beautiful, and repetitive soundscapes that evolve slowly, allowing you to really get lost in the sounds. This album is highly recommended for anyone interested in incredibly relaxing and meditative moments.
Here’s a great documentary of the making of A Sea Without Memory. (10 min.)