Similar artists

Albums

£7.63
£5.04

Ambient - Released September 28, 2018 | kranky

Hi-Res Distinctions Pitchfork: Best New Music
Tim Hecker recorded most of Konoyo in Japan, working with members of the gagaku ensemble Tokyo Gakuso, who play a variety of traditional wind and percussion instruments. Hecker's previous album, Love Streams, featured vocals by an Icelandic choir, who sang in a nonsensical language and were twisted into bizarre, alien forms. Hecker does similar business with the gagaku ensemble on Konoyo, sometimes rendering the source material nearly unrecognizable, letting it seep through the mix in subtle ways. The album is informed by ideas of negative space, and there's certainly more of a sense of restraint here compared to other Hecker releases, and not as much charred feedback. That said, there's still an enormous amount of detail to these highly immersive sonic constructions. Opening with distressed siren-like tones which slowly swoop down, "This Life" features woozy clusters of notes which bring to mind Arca's melodies, with frayed distortion bubbling up and swerving around, as well as a tangible sense of things being physically pushed and pulled. The acoustic instruments are much clearer on "In Death Valley," which has delicately plucked strings and knocking drums joined by the sideways thud of Hecker's scattered, crystalline synths. Tracks such as "Keyed Out" are punctuated with high-frequency whistling from instruments such as the ryuteki and the shō. These tones can seem disarming at first, but they contribute to the urgency of the music, in addition to feeling like glimpses into a distant past. Konoyo takes several listens to fully appreciate, as do most Hecker releases, but it's another excellent example of the distinct mixture of bleakness and majesty which he excels at creating. ~ Paul Simpson
£15.49
£12.49

Electro - Released April 8, 2016 | 4AD

Hi-Res
£12.49

Electro - Released April 8, 2016 | 4AD

Canadian experimental ambient artist Tim Hecker made his debut on the legendary 4AD label with one of his most ambitious works yet, 2016's Love Streams. The album includes vocals by the Icelandic Choir Ensemble with arrangements scored by Jóhann Jóhannsson, who released two albums on 4AD during the 2000s. With the exception of the occasional remix, Hecker has never incorporated vocals into his work prior to this album, and he deconstructs the human voice in a similar manner to the way he manipulates acoustic instruments. He encouraged the vocalists to make bizarre sounds in a nonsensical language, and the voices are sometimes fed through Auto-Tune, further twisting and exaggerating them. The idea of processing liturgical choirs through 21st century pop and hip-hop aesthetics seems like it could be a disastrous novelty, but it makes perfect sense within Hecker's landscape of granulated electronics. On tracks such as "Bijie Dream," the synthesizer melodies seem to thrash around as if they're stuck in sand, never sticking to a steady rhythm, but urgently pushing and fighting their way through. The vocals seem to behave this way at times, erupting in tonal clusters and mutating into strange, garbled noises that approximate Hecker's fuzzy textures and static bursts. While some of Hecker's work can be harsh and bleak (at least in the realm of ambient music), Love Streams is one of his most vibrant, melodic works. In addition to vocals, there's a heavy presence of woodwinds on the album, as well as what sounds like steel pan drums. Both of these elements add rich tonal colors as well as softly throbbing rhythms to the music, particularly on pieces like "Violet Monumental II." There are still a few alarming moments of disruptive noise, such as the beginning of the stunning "Castrati Stack," but they're smoothed out by the rippling melodies and heavenly vocals. Love Streams is easily Hecker's most accessible work to date, yet it's also one of his most challenging, as it finds him pushing his sound into new directions while he explores the possibilities of the human voice. ~ Paul Simpson
£0.72

Ambient - Released September 13, 2018 | kranky

£1.09
£0.72

Ambient - Released August 1, 2018 | kranky

Hi-Res
£6.54
£4.32

Ambient - To be released May 10, 2019 | kranky

Hi-Res
£1.09
£0.72

Ambient - Released February 12, 2019 | kranky

Hi-Res