Review: Tim Hecker's music has a way of consistently confounding expectations thanks to his ever shifting nature, and Virgins is no exception. While 2011's Ravedeath 1972 felt weighed down by its sandblasted sound that brought to mind a ravaged landscape, and last year's Instrumental Tourist was filled with subtle Eastern influences, Virgins comes with a sound that feels somehow elegiac; opener "Prism" places cacophonous organs stretched to infinity, while "Radiance" is as close as Hecker will get to the sound of an angelic chorus. Other moments prove more introspective, such as "Live Room Out", and the sullen piano keys of "Black Refraction". It's an album with the same instantly timeless quality of Fennesz's Venice, and comes highly recommended.
Review: Canadian sonic experimentalist Tim Hecker has long been a celebrated exponent of the ambient art form. Since the mid 1990s, he's released a series of acclaimed albums that blur the boundaries between art, music and experimentation, concocting stunning soundscapes through the use of simple melodies, dense, FX-laden instrumentation and alien chord sequences. On the oddly-titled "Ravedeath, 1972", he continues his one-man journey into the echo-laden heart of soundscape electronica. His compositions are at times quiet and fragile ("No Drums"), at others bold and queasily discordant (the two-part "Hatred Of Music"), but they're rarely less than breathlessly beautiful. The three-part "In The Air" is, in particular, quite stunning.
Review: "Harmony In Ultraviolet" is Tim Hecker's sixth album, Hecker's other albums appear on Alien 8, Mille Plateaux, EN/OF, and Fat Cat Records. "Harmony..." is a continuation of Hecker's interest in spectral communications, noise, impressionist musics, thresholds of listening pleasure/pain, and the limits of digital composition. This album is a significant development of his song-craft, challenging the usefulness of descriptors such as ambient, drone, metal, noise and electronic music. The New York Times has described his work as foreboding, abstract pieces in which static and sub-bass rumbles open up around slow moving notes and chords, like fissures in the earth waiting to swallow them whole.
Review: "Anoyo", Tim Hecker's latest must-check album, was apparently designed as a companion piece to its predecessor, 2018's "Konoyo". Like that album, it was inspired by his desire to fuse his brand of experimental electronica and wayward ambient music with the sounds of "gagaku" - a form of Japanese classical music famed for being played at the Far East nation's Imperial Court. In practice, that means recordings of traditional Japanese instruments and drums chopped, sliced, looped, mangled and reversed, fused with Hecker's own spacey ambient electronics and hazy electronic textures. It's a unique recipe, but one that results in a string of sublime, otherworldly compositions that just get better with each successive listen.