Tim Hecker - Ravedeath, 1972

This Canadian sound artist and all-round sonic innovator has been wowing listeners with his records for a while now, with both his previous albums on Kranky (An Imaginary Country & Harmony In Ultraviolet) being beautifully realised landscapes of textured noise and melody. With Ravedeath 1972 however, Tim Hecker seems to have raised the bar completely. Recorded with Icelandic musician Ben Frost in his native country, this is about as organic and stunning an electronic album you will come across.

Throbbing yet serene, opening track ‘The Piano Drop’ is a perfect drift into the album; while ‘In The Fog’ sees piano and stuttering noise create a world of swirling orchestral beauty. One of the key elements of the album is the use of pipe organ, recorded on location in Reykjavik with Frost. Its ethereal and constant ring brings a melodic constant to his sound that is at once dark and comforting.

‘Hatred Of Music’ sends waves of textured and glistening sound which seem to rise up out of nowhere and swallow the listener whole, bringing them into a world where nothing exists but the foreboding fuzz emanating from the speakers. Hecker seems to have a knack for drawing out emotions with the subtlest of things, such as with ‘Studio Suicide, 1980’ crafting helplessness out of processed guitar and other unrecognisable noise.

It’s rare that an album provides such a seamless experience between compositions, yet Ravedeath, 1972 succeeds in building an aural journey like no other. This album presents a united front of immersive and all encompassing sound which draws the listener into its shimmering world of moving melancholia.




out of 10

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