Tim Hecker | An Imaginary Country

Kranky (2009)
By DEVIN KING  |  March 10, 2009
3.0 3.0 Stars


With his sixth album, Tim Hecker continues his computer-enabled investigations into the ambient music of nebulous distortion. Like Fennesz, another electronic artist his work closely resembles, Hecker creates a tension between his own aggressive sonic space and the passivity of the listener.

By building up layers of distorted pitches that overcrowd the sonic frequency range and create a brutalist sound architecture, he suggests a vacant auditory space for you to occupy. This effect develops slowly. As the timbre of the different pitches shift, spiking fuzz becomes warm and fuzzy, and you become enveloped — only to find that the landscape has slowly turned violent and disorienting once again.

Hecker's sonics are huge and unrepentant, but they tease the ear; individual sounds are highlighted by their sustained revision. Within this entropy emerge elements of melody: cleanly articulated bass tones flutter to the surface at almost regular intervals, and swirling distortion connotes lucid samples of orchestral strings and guitar chords.
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