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Electronic - Released April 8, 2016 | 4AD

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Electronic - Released April 8, 2016 | 4AD

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Electronic - Released February 14, 2011 | kranky

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Electronic - Released October 16, 2006 | kranky

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Alternative & Indie - Released March 9, 2009 | kranky

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Classical - Released October 14, 2013 | kranky

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Electronic - Released October 10, 2011 | kranky

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Electronic - Released April 14, 2014 | Software Recording Co.

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Alternative & Indie - Released November 27, 2007 | Audraglint

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Ambient - Released February 12, 2019 | kranky

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Ambient - Released September 13, 2018 | kranky

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Ambient - Released August 1, 2018 | kranky

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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 /TiVo
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Ambient - Released May 10, 2019 | kranky

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Ambient - Released April 4, 2019 | kranky

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Electronic - Released November 5, 2007 | Room 40

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Electronic - Released August 31, 2010 | Room 40

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Electronic - Released November 20, 2012 | Software

The first volume of SSTUDIOS, a series of collaborative releases released on Daniel Lopatin's Software imprint, Instrumental Tourist pairs Lopatin with Tim Hecker, another artist who excels at drone-based electronic music, on a set of largely improvised songs. Most of the album doesn't feel like a meeting of the minds so much as a melding of them. It's difficult, in the best possible way, to tell which artist contributed which elements to any given track; one could make a guess about the glitches and torqued string melody on a piece like "Uptown Psychedelia," but the way Hecker and Lopatin combine their styles into a versatile mix of melody, drone, and distortion on "Ritual for Consumption" and the title track is too seamless to dissect. Along with their commitment to improvisation, on Instrumental Tourist they also explore the possibilities of seemingly hokey/patronizing "ethnic" instrument presets, including the koto, sitar, and lap steel, to transcend their intended uses, but first they send them up: "Racist Drone," with its faux shakuhachi flutes and koto and glistening ambience, could very well be some soothing, Eastern-inspired new age music if the song weren't interrupted by oddly tweaked percussion and synths whenever it seems close to attaining artificial Zen. "Grey Geisha" follows suit, albeit with more of the ominous undercurrent felt throughout the rest of the album; while these tracks are clever, Hecker and Lopatin's more abstract takes on these concepts are among Instrumental Tourist's standouts. The title "Intrusions" hints at the album's questioning of "exoticism" and cultural appropriation, but its mix of glitched electronics and penetrating drones that get pinched into shrill spikes stands on its own. "Scenes from a French Zoo" and the Angelo Badalamenti-esque "Vaccination (For Thomas Mann)" let the drones that guide much of the pair's work settle around listeners like a beautifully gloomy fog; what they lack in immediacy, they more than make up for in lasting impact. On these songs, Lopatin and Hecker take the sounds in their intentionally limited palette to places they may never have been expected to go, and the journey is intriguing and frequently lovely. That Instrumental Tourist's music was recorded in three days makes it all the more impressive, and bodes well for the rest of the SSTUDIOS albums. © Heather Phares /TiVo