Heliophile — Permeate (SA094)

1.Towers So Tall
3.Fall Over
4.Tranen van de Regen
5.Hungry for the Day
6.Satellite (Heartbeat Mix)
7.Meet the New You
8.Echo Chamber
9.This Broken Dance
10.The Educators
11.Your Clandestine

Heliophile is the alternative synthpop project of Gijs van Ouwerkerk from Enschede, The Netherlands, also known from the established dark electro act Schwarzblut. He is supported by a live band consisting of Maarten (keys) and Bernard (keys and vocals).

The spirit of the 80s is strong in Heliophile's highly melodic and synth-dominated songs, but this sound is quite a natural culmination of influences and not an attempt to sound 'retro'. Some even claim to hear traces of Gijs' history as a death metal musician in the music! The lyrics have a depth not often heard in electronic music, with topics such as the demise of the Cathar heresy, the mystery of cosmic dark matter and the echo chamber effect in journalism.

Founded in 2010, Heliophile gradually has been building a name for itself, supporting self-released EPs “Nebula” (2013) and “Downhill from Here” (2014) with many live performances, including an appearance at the I-Synth III festival in Lille, France. For the release of their debut full-length album “Permeate” in September 2017, the band found a home at the very passionate Russian label ScentAir Records. “Permeate”, meaning “to spread or flow throughout”, is a word used to describe a ray of sunlight pervading a room. Most of Heliophile’s lyrics are melancholic, but carry a hint of optimism, so thi s album title is the perfect metaphor for that.

Musically, Heliophile aims to create catchy and timeless songs. The relatively dense, but carefully thought out arrangements provide many clever subtleties that the listener can discover over time. Many of the sounds heard on “Permeate” were patched by hand on a modular synthesizer. This instrument is a unique combination of modules from many different manufacturers, big and small, from all over the world. Its thick and organic tones cannot be saved, so when the cables are pulled out, not even the band can bring the sounds back exactly as they were!

Although Heliophile celebrates the fact that synthpop is a type of music that brings brotherhood to people all over the world, it was a long-held ambition of Gijs to sing a song in his native Dutch language. ‘Tranen van de Regen’, a very personal semi-autobiographical break-up song, was the perfect opportunity to make that wish come true.

With craftmanship, passion, musicality and artistic integrity, Heliophile brings you an album you can enjoy for years to come. Fans of Mesh, Diorama and De/Vision should take notice!