|Tim Hecker — Love Streams (April 8th, 2016)|
Tim Hecker — Love Streams (April 8th, 2016) ♠ Na první poslech se zdá být zdaleka bezvýznamné, že Tim Hecker zvěčnil své nové album v Reykjavíku na Islandu. Pokud jste někdy měli to potěšení navštívit tuto zemi, budete si vědomi jedinečnosti krajiny. Celou masu této země porodila euroasijská a severoamerická tektonická deska a neklidný původ tohoto ostrova je přímo hmatatelný; krajina je v akci; žije a dýchá. Stejně jako Love Streams. To je nahrávka, která bublá v podobném spodním proudu v kontextu sopečné činnosti.
♠ Úvod procitá lehčím dotekem, než jsme zvyklí. Překrývající se flétny, rytmické triády, přerývané a dýchající hlukové ruchy.
♠ Montreal–based composer who works with the melodic and timbral possibilities of electronically processed guitar.
Born: 1974 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Location: Montreal, Québec, Canada
Album release: April 8th, 2016
Recorded: The album was recorded throughout 2014 and 2015 at Greenhouse Studios in Reykjavík, Iceland.
Record Label: 4AD / Paper Bag
01 Obsidian Counterpoint 4:56
02 Music of the Air 4:08
03 Bijie Dream 2:17
04 Live Leak Instrumental 2:57
05 Violet Monumental I 4:58
06 Violet Monumental II 3:14
07 Up Red Bull Creek 2:41
08 Castrati Stack 4:01
09 Voice Crack 3:15
10 Collapse Sonata 4:13
11 Black Phase 6:16
• All songs written and composed by Tim Hecker.
♦ The album features Kara–Lis Coverdale and Grímur Helgason, who were both collaborators on Hecker’s last album Virgins, as well as contributions from the Icelandic Choir Ensemble, whose vocal arrangements were scored by Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson. Hecker professed to having thought about ideas like “liturgical aesthetics after Yeezus” and the “transcendental voice in the age of auto–tune” during its creation.
By Bekki Bemrose | 4 Apr 2016 | Score: ****½
♠ On first listen it seems far from inconsequential that Tim Hecker recorded his new album in Reykjavik, Iceland. If you’ve ever had the pleasure of visiting that country you’ll be aware of the landscape’s singularity. It’s a mass of land borne of the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates and its turbulent origins are tangible; its landscape is alive; it lives and breathes. As does Love Streams. It is a record that bubbles with a similar undercurrent of volcanic activity.
♠ The record opens with a lighter touch than we are used to receiving from Hecker. Obsidian Counterpoint’s light pipes and flickering background noise give way to huge notes that bulge and swiftly disappear, only to be replaced by others. It’s an introduction that spikes curiosity, but it is the following Music Of The Air that digs its claws in and maps the direction of travel.
♠ On Love Streams Hecker has introduced vocals — of sorts. Being the artist he is, it was always unlikely that said vocals would be of the hook–laden pop kind or even have actual lyrics for that matter. Instead, the cacophony of voices on Music Of The Air make the track sound like a mash–up of Kate Bush’s Under Ice and Waking The Witch. It’s a thrilling composition, and its musical comings and goings mess with the mind. By now a truth is clear — this is an album that demands repeat listens.
♠ At the centre of the record lies Violet Monumental I and II. And it is here that Hecker really delves into the vocal experiments. Part I has a number of voices on a loop seemingly trying to escape through use of incomprehensible incantations, their efforts punctuated by what sounds like a steel drum. All the while the track pulsates like a heartbeat. Part II opens up what part two started. It’s less dense with a loosely repeated keyboard line, compelling rhythm and it’s an experimenter at his most crowd–pleasingly melodic.
♠ Love Streams is an album that should be listened to unabridged, for one track leads thematically to another. Hecker has said that the album is “a riff on the ubiquity and nihilism of streaming of all forms of life”, and it would feel odd to listen to these compositions in that fashion. The effect of sporadically listening to random tracks free of their running order in between shots of The Life Of Pablo or the latest Weezer offering would be detrimental to the overall effect, and unceremoniously remove you from the narrative.
♠ This record is a multi–layered, rich world in and of itself. Take Bijie Dream’s processed organ that seems to bend time, or Live Leak Instrumental’s confluence of ancient and futuristic moods that Hecker is so adept at balancin. Or the counterintuitive flicker of Up Red Bull Creek. There is so much to be explored in this collection; its pleasures are both immediate and gradual.
♠ Castrati Stack is the most Ravedeath, 1972 moment on the album, for those missing some of the ‘noise’ of that recording. It opens with digital interference so bracing you could be forgiven for thinking your system is terminally fucked — were it not a Hecker record — but choral voices soon sooth the ear blistering crackle. Then even they become oppressive and overbearing in their yearning layered insistance.
♠ Hecker delivers the final knockout blow of distorted bass notes and chiming voices with Black Phase, and as it fades it underlines that just about all the fun stuff is happening within the realms of electronica at the moment, as this and Anna Meredith’s excellent Varmints both suggest. Electronics can be animated, brought to life and prove (to borrow the Explosions In The Sky album title) the earth is not a cold, dead place. • Love Streams is always on the move. It’s alive and constantly evolving: a slippery beast of a record that you can try and get a hold of, but thankfully you probably never will.
AllMusic Review by Paul Simpson; Score: ****
♠ Canadian experimental ambient artist Tim Hecker made his debut on the legendary 4AD label with one of his most ambitious works yet, 2016’s Love Streams. The album includes vocals by the Icelandic Choir Ensemble with arrangements scored by Jóhann Jóhannsson, who released two albums on 4AD during the 2000s. With the exception of the occasional remix, Hecker has never incorporated vocals into his work prior to this album, and he deconstructs the human voice in a similar manner to the way he manipulates acoustic instruments. He encouraged the vocalists to make bizarre sounds in a nonsensical language, and the voices are sometimes fed through Auto–Tune, further twisting and exaggerating them. The idea of processing liturgical choirs through 21st century pop and hip–hop aesthetics seems like it could be a disastrous novelty, but it makes perfect sense within Hecker’s landscape of granulated electronics. • On tracks such as “Bijie Dream,” the synthesizer melodies seem to thrash around as if they’re stuck in sand, never sticking to a steady rhythm, but urgently pushing and fighting their way through. The vocals seem to behave this way at times, erupting in tonal clusters and mutating into strange, garbled noises that approximate Hecker's fuzzy textures and static bursts. While some of Hecker’s work can be harsh and bleak (at least in the realm of ambient music), Love Streams is one of his most vibrant, melodic works. In addition to vocals, there’s a heavy presence of woodwinds on the album, as well as what sounds like steel pan drums. Both of these elements add rich tonal colors as well as softly throbbing rhythms to the music, particularly on pieces like “Violet Monumental II.” There are still a few alarming moments of disruptive noise, such as the beginning of the stunning “Castrati Stack,” but they’re smoothed out by the rippling melodies and heavenly vocals. Love Streams is easily Hecker’s most accessible work to date, yet it’s also one of his most challenging, as it finds him pushing his sound into new directions while he explores the possibilities of the human voice.
♠ Haunt Me, Haunt Me Do It Again (2001)
♠ Radio Amor (2003)
♠ Mirages (2004)
♠ Harmony in Ultraviolet (2006)
♠ An Imaginary Country (2009)
♠ Ravedeath, 1972 (2011)
♠ Virgins (2013)
♠ Love Streams (2016)
EPs & Other:
♠ Trade Winds, White Noise (2002)
♠ My Love Is Rotten to the Core (2002)
♠ Radio Marti / Radio Havana (2004)
♠ Mort Aux Vaches (2005)
♠ Pareidolia (2006)
♠ Norberg (2007)
♠ Atlas (2007)
♠ Apondalifa (2010)
♠ Dropped Pianos (2011)
♠ Fantasma Parastasie with Aidan Baker (Nadja) (2008)
♠ Instrumental Tourist with Daniel Lopatin (Oneohtrix Point Never) (2012)
♠ Autumnumonia (2000)
♠ Ultramarin (2001)
♠ Sundown (2006)
|Tim Hecker — Love Streams (April 8th, 2016)|