Canadian sound artist and electronica composer Tim Hecker has worked up a nice wee niche for himself making dark twitch-driven nightmare scenarios, making lurching, creeping, swaying, punch-drunk night tales that pulse and probe and waft and drift. And here, with Virgins, that continues. The man who has opened shows for the likes of Sigur Ros and Godspeed You! Black Emperor has seen his word-of-mouth reputation spread swiftly over the last couple of year and Virgins will bring more to the growing fan-base, should do anyway.
Here we hear clashes with the tunes, Live Room has crashing waves of distortions and twitchy glitches, glistening and glaring against the tinkles of piano. Live Room Out, a coda to that tune, slips away into a soft waft before Virginal II recalls the Aphex Twin of Selected Ambient Works II and the quieter moments within Drukqs – still with strange collisions interrupting the mix, distorting the mind as it attempts to follow the first statement of melody, that withering hint of a tune.
Black Refraction continues on with the Aphex-of-Drukqs feel, slightly mangled piano couching the darkness and weirdness, a strange beauty emerging as the piano’s motifs twirl and dance about.
It’s almost as if, on Virgins, we’re frightened at the start and then talked down into a calmness, but it’s that creepy Camp Crystal Lake form of serenity, a don’t-look-over-your-shoulder/must-look-over-my-shoulder! vibe. (I fucking love that kind of a vibe!)
Amps, Drugs, Harmonium reminds me of Penguin Cafe Orchestra if remixed – remade – by Jon Hopkins.
Lovely album, this. Dark and weird in places, always exhilarating.