David Helpling & Jon Jenkins
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David Helpling & Jon Jenkins


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"Treasure Review - John Shanahan"

Let me say this first: If tracks from this disc don’t show up in a nature documentary on PBS or the Discovery Channel in the next year, I’ll eat my CD collection. On Treasure, Helpling and Jenkins offer up melodic aural landscapes painted in dramatic southwestern hues. Tribal drums rumble over sweeping instrumentals and the mind’s eye immediately sees one of those great helicopter shots over some distant veldt or tundra as animals sprint for cover. Each track is nicely cinematic, a soundtrack in search of a scene (as I’ve said too many times before), and a pleasure to immerse yourself in. Treasure is a solid ride all the way across—there are no lackluster tracks here to impede the flow. Rather, it’s 10 cuts of solid classic New Age beauty, masterfully crafted, that can dwell nicely in the background and then all at once pull a strand of pure emotion from you. There are many moments to get caught up in here. This is my first experience with Helpling and Jenkins, and I’m going back for more—because I can’t wait for PBS to catch on. - Hypnagogue

"Treasure Review - Jon Aanensen"

David Helpling and Jon Jenkins are two quite well known names in ambient/electronic music by now. Their Spotted Peccary careers have in many ways followed the same route. Jenkins first album was "Continuum" composed in collaboration with Paul Lackey in 1995, then "Flow" in 1998 before a 7 year hiatus ended with "Beyond City Light" from 2005. Helpling's debut was "Between Green And Blue" in 1996, then "Sleeping On The Edge Of The World" in 1999. This is actually the first regular studio album from Helpling in 8 years, although promotional film soundtracks like "Trade Offs", "Night Feeders" and "Cold Storage" received limited distribution a couple of years ago.

"Treasure" has been an extremely long and detailed production from the two musical perfectionists. Helpling and Jenkins have worked on and off the project all the way through this decade. Finally the album is here. Has it been worth the wait? I would say yes. I am a fan of Helpling's and Jenkins' soundscapes, which I find original and highly thought-provoking. The album starts off with Grand Collision, where a classic Helpling melody line delves into Jenkins' Flow-territory. This is perhaps the track where the combination of their two styles is at its best. Pure bliss for the listener. The title track Treasure features wonderful and powerful sound collages, it's emotional, visual and cinematic - perfect instrumental music. The Knowing has a more introspective opening, before Helpling's guitar colorings bring the tune into almost rock area - like Coldplay in space. Highly interesting.

Beyond Words (3:33) is the shortest track on the CD, it's all about ambience and guitar effects. Dark-ish and majestic. Into The Deep is a real eye-opener. This experimental track is unlike anything else from the composers, more ambient guitar and even some hints of artists like Biosphere. Not A Soul, Not A Sound is 10 minutes of pure ambient that I personally just can handle in small doses, but it's of course all a matter of taste. Fans of Steve Roach will enjoy this. It surely lowers your pulse and makes your mind wander. Brief melodic patterns dominates the track The Frozen Channel, it misses the power of the opening tracks but has lots of atmosphere and feeling. This tune segues directly into Now More Than Ever, another lenghty, mostly atmospheric and flowing track that fits the Spotted Peccary "sound" like a glove.

This Day Forward is a masterpiece reminiscent of Helpling's 1999 album. It features something that sounds like hand-played percussion, and some glorious melody lines enter later on. This track will surely become a favorite on my CD player for quite some time. Then, the last track called The First Goodbye is a touching, melancholic tune, a perfect closing track where Helpling and Jenkins show how good tunesmiths they are.

- Norway Press

"JonJenkins/Treasure - Darren Bergstein"

Jon Jenkins...Beyond City Light is a simply lovely piece of becalming “space” music, space in this case inhabiting both cosmic and personal realms. Though Jenkins receives help from others on a gaggle of acoustic instruments (various guitars, deep metals), all of which add further shadings and gradations, his gift of drama, in fact his flair for the dramatic (not the melodramatic) lifts this recording beyond the venal trappings of something like Vangelis’ recent obese exercises in 21st-century pseudo-classicism. Austere, possessed of a regal beauty and strong infusion of, yes, melodicism, Jenkins’ work takes some of Patrick O’Hearn’s early sensibilities to hitherto extrasolar levels, thankfully absent of the romantic schmaltz that dogged many on the, say, old Narada stable. In fact, the nine minutes that is “Through City Light,” with its softly purring sequencer patterns and ultraglide synths, compliments the diminishing sunlight of any given evening perfectly. Working with David Helpling on Treasure, Jenkins’ predilections if anything assume a more mannered, stately, but not any less urgent air. The opening “Grand Collision” is precisely the kind of strident electronic music so favored by “contemporary instrumental” labels in the early 90s: strategically-placed big drums, rippling piano cadences and ebullient string synths recall an era when American electronic music (and, to some specific degree, the California school populated by Roach, Michael Stearns, Kevin Braheny, et al) reflected a majesty that suggested open plains, vast mesas, windswept prairie. Synths are writ large, informed by chamber-esque affectations, percussion making its presence known when applicable, so that there’s no mistaking this is music on an expansive, cinematic scale: imagine David Lean rigging his Panaflex with Korgs. - E. I. Magazine

"Treasure Review - Phil Derby"

Spotted Peccary has always tended toward the softer, smoother side of electronic and new age music, and that is certainly the case with Treasure, an easy-going collection of very pleasant relaxed tunes. The collaboration between Helpling and Jenkins seems a natural one, their styles seamlessly fusing together into an organic sounding release that would be right at home alongside Patrick O’Hearn classics such as Trust and Metaphor. Warm synth pads, gently strummed guitars, rich echoing percussion and bright piano all meld beautifully together. The drums are particularly powerful and moving in the title track as it builds. “The Knowing” pulls back several notches, allowing room to breathe and feel the calm. Though I typically shun overtly new age music, this captures the best of its essence and distills it down into seven enjoyable minutes. “Into the Deep” features a cool repeating, vaguely tribal musical phrase as it gently bounces along. And so it goes throughout, not a bad track in the bunch. Treasure is easily one of my favorite CDs of 2007. - Electro Ambient Space

"Treasure Review - Synthtopia"

Treasure is a new collaboration between David Helpling and Jon Jenkins on the Spotted Peccary label. Spotted Peccary a progressive electronic music label that has consistently been releasing solid ambient/new age/space music projects.

On Treasure, Helpling and Jenkins create music that moves gracefully between the worlds of space music and more rhythmic “chillout” style grooves. The CD kicks off with Grand Collision, which alternates quiet sections that focus on synth string pads and evolving textures with more propulsive sections. The track also features interesting textural guitar work, which reminded me a bit of Steve Tibbetts’ work.

This contrasting of an ambient/space feel with more rhythmic sections continues throughout the CD. On The Knowing, Helpling & Jenkins create a track that begins very quietly, and for the first half of the track they explore subtle textural variations over a repeating harmonic progressions. About halfway through, they move into a more overtly rhythmic section, adding layers of guitars and building the track to a peak.

Some of the tracks avoid strong percussive elements and stay in the space music/drone space. Beyond Words, for example, has long ambient drones underpinning much of the track. Synth strings and deep bass notes create a tranquil feel, but not without a hint of mystery.

Not A Soul, Not A Sound explores similar textures, with textural guitar emerging occasionally from a background of synth string washes and echoing guitar notes. A bass voice is introduced about seven minutes into the track, and it brings with it a deeper sense of progression or motion for the remainder of the track.

Overall, Treasure is another fine Spotted Peccary release. The CD is at its best when Helpling & Jenkins take the time to explore interesting ambient textures and to submerse you in lusciously orchestrated sound. Tracks like Now More Than Ever bathe you in a gorgeous soundscape where time seems almost irrelevent.

- Synthtopia.com

"Treasure Review - Strolenberg"

"Treasure" took over six years in the making, but is certainly worth
the wait as it offers the best of both worlds from these skilled
musicians. Its musical content is highly cinematic, ranging from
beautiful ethereal soundscapes to rhythmic spiced compostions. There's
a nice flow recognizable track after track, in which David's typical
guitar work delivers another dimension to the already well composed &
played pieces. (and yes, the slight Patrick O'Hearn feel in Helplings
music is still there). As always, the mastering by Howard Givens is
very well done. I sincerely hope it won't take another 6 years or so
for a follow-up album. - Bert Strolenberg

"Morpheus Treasure Review"

The style is Melodic ambient music with spacey themes and lush electro-tribal beats. Treasure is a gorgeous collection of chilled instrumentals that ease smoothly in and out of broad percussive beats - billowing pianos, swooning guitars and warm strings well up into climactic surges and blissful come downs. Rhythmically the two musicians bring their diverse interests to bear on the project - David's Eastern hand drums and bells, Jon's shakers and Native American drums making for an absorbing percussive experience. The lead lines are mostly delicate, understated structures that often sit deep within the overall textural swells - sometimes they are fully absent, washes and harmonious drones taking the lead - but there are also passages of delirious beauty, luscious, cascading melody and moments of heart stirring emotion. Ranging from dreamy grandeur and soaring rapture to gentle quietude and introspective subtlety Treasure has an organic soul within an electronic body. A shaft of light scythes through an unseen opening in solid rock to illuminate a rolling cave scene. At first the scale is ambiguous - perhaps just a small tunnel, the earthy home of some subterranean rodent - but soon the eye picks out a tiny human figure right at the edge of the light and suddenly the scale explodes - this is an enormous cavern sprawling into unseen distance and darkness. The rear imagery retains the underground theme, the same rich brown hues, another gleaming light source. Here the track titles sit in shadow, each with its associated timing. The inner booklet opens into two panels - within the initial image is enlarged and flipped into negative so that the figure glows with a light of its own. Here are credits, web site details and thanks. Treasure is released via Spotted Peccary Records, having taken six years to create, the album has stirred up considerable anticipation. From the opening moments this album establishes itself as a high quality experience - Helpling and Jenkins delivering a gigantic musical expanse that truly stirs the depths of the listener. So it comes as no surprise that these two artists are two of the label's most popular, best-selling acts, both having achieved considerable solo success. David Helping has produced much music for cinema over the years and his obvious ability to evoke imaginary colour and space perfectly complements Jon Jenkin's musical interest in creating music to "stimulate the imagination and transport the listener to another place". Treasure is surely a CD that stands out from the crowd - appealing to lovers of tuneful ambience, fairy tale enigmatic groove and to anyone that loves very beautiful music. - MORPHEUS MUSIC

"This Month's Pick: Treasure"

David Helpling and Jon Jenkins are both veterans of ambient electronic music. Although we've been waiting eight years for a new album by David Helpling, his 1999 release Sleeping on the Edge of the World remains an Echoes favorite with its seductive melodies and rhythms. Jon Jenkins last graced us with his subtle and exotic orchestral electronics on Beyond City Light a couple of years ago.

Treasure is a deceptive recording as collaborations go. Just when you think you have a melody or groove nailed as coming from Helpling, an element slips in that makes you think, no, Jenkins must have created this moment. You can never be sure on a CD that revels in the sonic sleight of hand of moody atmospheres that morph like cloud drifts and intoxicating melodies played on instruments that are just on the edge of conventional timbres, but have something slightly off. But while Helpling is a sonic chameleon, his ringing guitar lines do add a comforting touchstone when you can recognize it on tracks like "The Knowing."

My ears instantly go to the more rhythmic, quietly affirming tracks like "Grand Collision," "Treasure," and "The Knowing." These compositions emerge wraithlike out of swirling atmospheres and textures to quietly thundering percussion. But the texture works provide their own charm, like the siren-like loops of "Beyond Words" or the cinematic expanse of "The Frozen Channel." That song actually began life as a soundtrack and the genesis of this project.

Treasure isn't something you discover, following the map to where X marks the spot. Instead, it's a secret, personal gift of lush, sonic immersion that creates its own interior world. - John Diliberto

"Treasure Review - Kristian Persson"

One of the best Ambient/New Age albums I have ever heard in my entire life! I don't have enough words to describe how good this album is but this sure is a Masterpiece of it's own!.
A mind journey through many of earths mystical places is what comes to mind when I listen to this incredible sound, a journey so full of emotions there is nothing like it! I can only say if you like sequencer based grooves such as Patrick O'Hearn's style then don't hesitate, just go out there and buy this disc immediately!
Highly highly recommended!! - Kristian Persson

"Treasure review - Bill Binkelman"

Even when artists with prodigious talent and artistic vision collaborate, the results can still be mixed. In the case of David Helpling and Jon Jenkins’ Treasure, no such pitfall materializes. This album is a grand slam; it’s out of the park, good-bye Mr. Spalding! Treasure explores blending drifting spacious ambient with instrumental music which holds somewhat more structure and rhythm than the genre usually contains (Helpling’s recordings are frequently compared to Patrick O’Hearn’s and that judgment is apt for some parts of Treasure). While ambient “purists” might bristle at the presence of overt melodic sensibility, I personally can’t see how this CD could be called anything but ambient (although my definition of the genre is wider than most of my colleagues).

Bearing some musical resemblance to Jenkins’ Beyond City Light (2006), a few of the (ten) tracks pulse with a raw urgency, propelled by an assortment of drums, electric guitars, piano and all manner of keyboards. Much of Treasure is drenched in reverb and echo which gives the music a spaciousness that evokes the landscape of the American southwest, home to the Spotted Peccary label.

“Grand Collision” opens with a swirl of synth washes, reverbed pealing guitar notes and various propulsive drums with the main melody played out on echoed piano. It’s a great opening piece and signals the power and intensity that will surface now and then throughout Treasure. There are quieter moments here to be sure (the middle of this particular song explores the same forlorn ambient territory that label mate Eric Wøllo did on his recent releases on this same label). The title track builds from a quiet duet by piano and guitar (with textural synths), featuring a melancholic mysterious refrain, and then brings in pounding forceful rhythms once more. Jenkins’ and Helpling’s music has a visual cinematic characteristic to it which reminds me of Peter Buffet’s earlier works, most notably Lost Frontier.

Some songs are introspective and hew closer to the more accepted form of ambient music, e.g. “Beyond Words” which floats through its haunting soundscape featuring layers of keyboards and sparse guitar notes (again, heavily echoed). The sadness of the music is palpable but it’s too beautiful to be depressing, instead feeling more like memories tinged with regret or sorrow. Reverberating sonar-like tones on “Into the Deep” repeat over a bed of textural electric guitar while subtle rhythms and spacy blooping notes add depth and character to the song. The long (ten-and-a-half minute) “Not a Soul, Not a Sound” is appropriately subdued and is another “traditional” ambient piece, becoming very quiet in the middle. The track’s mood varies from serene and billowy to shadowy and forlorn. “The Frozen Channel” may again elicit comparisons to not just O’Hearn but Wøllo again as well. Crystalline piano notes meld with strummed electric guitar over a bed of shimmering keyboards and smooth as ice synth pads. “This Day Forward” returns to the more dramatic drum-driven rhythms and passionate melodies of the earlier tracks on the CD, while the overt electronics of the closing “The First Goodbye” may bring to mind releases from Spotted Peccary’s earlier days, e.g. Greg Klamt’s Fulcrum or Jenkins’ own Continuum.

By intermixing drifting warm ambient tone poems with more powerful and structured/rhythmic songs (and even combining the two motifs on the same track), Jenkins and Helpling display their mastery over all facets of contemporary instrumental music. It matters little how one classifies Treasure, for it “earns” its title through its broad bush strokes as well as by paying attention to subtle minute details. This is one treasure well worth seeking. Highly recommended.

Rating: Excellent

Bill Binkelman
New Age Reporter - New Age Reporter


David Helpling & Jon Jenkins - TREASURE - released June 12th 2007

David Helpling - Between Green and Blue - 1996 New Age Album Of The Year Nominee

David Helpling - Sleeping On the Edge Of The World - 1999 Grammy Nominee

Jon Jenkins/Paul Lackey - Continuum - 1995

Jon Jenkins - Flow - 1998

Jon Jenkins - Beyond City Light - 2005




Even at an early age, David Helpling was an inquisitive spirit, a kid with a wild imagination who was always looking under stones for bugs and frogs and things. Now, David roams a musical landscape, exploring different textures and unearthing various moods, and it is that same curiosity that makes his music so stunning and unique.

A self-taught musician, David’s ability to "feel" the music has resulted in two captivating albums that showcase his atmospheric depth as well as his rhythmic sensibility. David's debut release, Between Green And Blue, was a finalist for the 1997 INDIE Album-Of-The-Year award, and is already considered a favorite among listeners to this genre. On his second release, Sleeping On The Edge Of The World, Helpling takes his unmistakable style and dense sound sculptures to a deeper level of introspection.

As a full-time composer, David has written music for several successful feature films. One of which, Trade Offs, had David immersed in the music of India. Featuring several guest artists including vocalist Nidhi Bhatmuley, this score has become a world-wide favorite. “David Helpling’s score for Trade Offs is a lovely and accomplished east-west fusion" - Mychael Danna.

Among other musical influences such as U2 and Bjork, one of David's main inspirations is film music. The dark and moving scores of Elliot Goldenthal, Edward Shearmur and David Julyan are just a few of his favorites. It would seem that David has a constantly running soundtrack of his own as well. "Music is always in my head. That's how I write. I'm always dreaming."

After several intense years of writing and producing music for film, Treasure marks David’s return to the musical form for which he is most passionate. Working side by side with Jon Jenkins, David’s driven pursuit to create the music of his dreams is on. The combination of these two artists is explosive and limitless...


As a recording artist, Jon Jenkins sees it as his responsibility to reach out, grab the listeners by the ears, drag them into another world and show them around a little bit. "I've always been fascinated by the ability of a good piece of music to stimulate the imagination and transport the listener to another place in their mind without ever leaving their chair."

When you put on a copy of his solo debut release, Flow, you'll know he's not kidding. By the time the first track is over, you've been pulled through a sonic wormhole and dropped into a world of many wonders. On his next release, Beyond City Light, Jenkins takes this wide angle approach to the next level with deeper spaces and more powerful grooves.

“Growing up, I listened to Pink Floyd, Genesis, Marillion, Peter Gabriel, and Tangerine Dream because they always made albums to be experienced rather than just listened to; they maintained a nice balance between power and space." This led Jenkins to begin experimenting with his own compositions. "I couldn't get enough of that stuff, so I just started to create the music I wanted to hear."

On his new release, Treasure, Jenkins has found the perfect musical collaborator in David Helpling. The two express their vision on an epic and expansive scale, rich in organic textures and moving passages. One reviewer summed up Treasure perfectly when he wrote, “…imagine David Lean rigging his Panaflex with Korgs.”

With four outstanding releases to his credit, Jon Jenkins has established himself as a unique artist with a distingushable style, which is not an easy task in the Electronic/Ambient musical realm. In fact, not only has he managed to discover something quite precious - his own musical space, but he can convince you that it is yours as well.