If you’re lucky enough to be living on a remote tropical island, then it’s likely that you’ve never heard of Tim Hecker.  Admittedly, I was a late starter myself, picking up on Tim’s work only after he’d released his sixth album, the ground-breaking “Ravedeath, 1972”, much of which was recorded on a church organ.  Tim’s now moved across to 4AD Records for “Love Streams”, which should hopefully extend his listener base quite considerably.

tim_hecker_love_streams
Just as “Ravedeath” was an interesting and complex body of work, Tim’s unafraid to break down boundaries which incorporate a diverse selection of sounds.  On “Music Of The Air”, we’re introduced to many different languages, which seems to make sense when they’re brought together, layered and ordered.
The music sometimes feels fragmented – and that’s intentional.  During “Bijie Dream”, for instance, musical notes are flying around all over the place, as if willing the listener to attempt to contain them.  However, there are also moments of extreme beauty, such as the choral leanings during certain sections of the music; “Voice Crack” features dissonant vocals which echo atop various ambient electronic instruments.
The most suitable point of reference I can offer here is William Basinski, whose “Disintegration Loops” work from 2002 fabulously underlined the devastation caused by the 9/11 attacks in New York.  Not unlike Basinski, “Love Streams” could also be used to soundtrack recent world events such as the Paris attacks or rhetoric from dubious world leaders.  Similarly, “Castrati Stack” has an immersive quality, particularly with its haunting vocals, which conjure a whole range of thoughts and images.
“Love Streams” deserves to be heard in a single sitting; it makes a compelling case for music which is complex, haunting and thought-provoking.
Paul Lockett

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