Interviews Music

One Track Mind: Joy Helder

The London-based electronic artist reminisces about the melodic Italo-stylings of Skatebärd’s Why Now?

The premise of One Track Mind is pretty simple: I ask artists to pick one track that means a lot to them – either something they’ve discovered recently, something that’s been with them for years, or one that reminds them of a specific time in their life or career – and tell me what makes it so special to them. I get to talk to the artists I love, and they get to talk about the artists they love. Love all round!

“Miniature soundtracks for moments in life, created electronically in London” is about as much concrete information I can find about Joy Helder. But whatever lack of identifying detail there might be available in regards to his background is more than counterbalanced by the depth and richness of his productions. Latest EP Joy moves through both ambient and more rhythmically structured experimental electronica, with field recordings, haunting melodies and muted percussion combining to create an atmosphere that’s at times claustrophobic and foreboding, others expansive and calming.

For his One Track Mind selection, Joy has picked a track by Norwegian artist Skatebärd that soundtracked many a bus journey shortly after he arrived in London.

Joy Helder on Skatebärd – Why Not?

“‘Why Not?’ by Norwegian artist Skatebärd came out on Sex Tags UFO around 2010. I had been living in London for about two years at this point and had started getting involved with the electronic music scene. I also worked a bad job in a coffee shop making minimum wage, and I’d always listen to this track on the bus on the way home.

“There’s something special about how it combines melancholy, hope and energy in one, six minute piece. The melodies intertwine with each other and the filters open at just the right time. I’m not a huge Italo fan generally, but this techno tinged approach with a chugging 909 backbone really does the job.”

Joy Helder Spa is out now