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Entry updated 16 April 2024. Tagged: Music.

French electronic rock band formed in 1974 by Richard Pinhas (1951-    ), named after The High Land of Heldon in Norman Spinrad's novel The Iron Dream (1972); originally active until 1979, and reformed with differing line-ups occasionally since. Pinhas has said the band was inspired equally by the events of May 1968 (in which he participated), the works of Gilles Deleuze, and science fiction, especially Philip K Dick (Pinhas cited Dick as "a prophet to us"). Though largely instrumental and less consciously mythic than contemporaries such as Magma, from their first album Électronique Guerilla (1974) Heldon's pioneering use of pulsing synths and electronic textures was clearly an attempt to evoke a future of human/machine hybridity. Sf imagery abounds on their album covers, especially Interface (1977), which features a close-up of the head of a reptilian woman in a space helmet, and Stand-By (1979), featuring a hazmat-suited figure and a laser. Pinhas has continued in a similar vein in his extensive solo work. [CWa]


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