Helene Rickhard – live from ØyaNatt 2021

A regular at Oslo’s Jaeger, Helene has now moved out of the city to a house on the coast, where she produces music with her cat, Enya. When she and her cat are not producing music, she’s playing beat-informed synth music brooding in a darkened eighties mood.

She features on nights where the tone would be left of left-field, with a sense of intrigue and originality setting her apart from even some of the other DJs on the flyer. Sonic journeys through early synthesisers and drum machines conspire through re-constructed pop arrangements that live in the obscure shadows of synth pop and synth wave. There’s something nostalgic, even in the new music she plays, and she weaves these expressive tracks together in a cohesive mood that permeates through mixes like this latest, we recorded during Øya Natt in 2021. Foregoing the ubiquitous beat matching style of today, she plays each track in its entirety, giving the listener a unique introspective view of her individual tastes, which is in every set she plays, regardless of where she might find herself in the lineup. 

The mix is like a lifetime’s worth of musical knowledge coalescing around a couple of record players with Helene Rickhard echoing through every track. There’s something intriguing, mysterious and visceral of the past in every track, and while her sets might differ from one night to the next, there’s always something appealing and something new to explore through the rabbit hole of her extensive musical knowledge. Diving through a Helene Rickhard mix is a trip. It’s a journey through the personal, clouded in some abstract swathe of musical colour. Nothing concrete ever really emerges, but there’s a distinctive emotive quality to her mixes and by extension her music.