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Tim Hecker



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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 sho. 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

  • Genre: Pop
  • RSD Release Date: DDD
  • Format: Vinyl
  • Released: 09/28/2018


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