Tim Hecker is one strange motherfucker you don’t want to miss.
Dude has collaborated with Daniel Lopatin (better known as Oneohtrix Point Never), Ben Frost, Johann Johannsson, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Sigur Rós, and Fly Pan Am. Some strange bedfellows to be sure. But Tim might be the oddest nut in a mixed nutbag of nutters in the goddamn nut factory. It’s even difficult to define what this guy does. My crack at genre labelling this shit would be drone/noise-based experimental electronic neoclassical music? But, even then, I’m not doing this guy a drop of justice.
Back in 2016 the guy made this album called Love Streams, which is fucking amazing. On this, he took an Icelandic choir Ensemble (with vocal arrangement done by Jóhann Jóhannsson) and thoroughly fucked with this sound. Without ever losing the heart of the original material, he made this choir into something more than it could have ever been. Shit like that ain’t easy. It’s really fucking hard.
Now, Tim is doing it again by mixing shit up with some Japanese classical court music called gaguku. Konoyo is even Japanese for “the world over here”. He takes the sound of this traditional music and fucks with it until it becomes thick drone sounds and throws thick sci-fi sounding synth on top. Singing bowl high pitches glitch in and out. Plucked Chinese Harps turn into rhythmic synth lines. It’s cavernous. It’s deep. All while keeping a lightheartedness in its tranquil step. In the end, you come out with something that sounds like a long forgotten Blade Runner album from an alternate universe that feels completely timeless. It’s what I picture if I went to go see alien classical music. This is music you can space the fuck out too.
I could reference Stars Of The Lid or William Basinski (which, I just kind of fucking did). And though there are aspects to Tim that are like these two, he’s entirely on his own. This is a type of motherfucker that doesn’t just think outside of the box, or think outside of circles, this dude thinks outside of the Möbius Strip. And though Tim is strange, it doesn’t make his music impersonal. In fact, Tim makes music that is incredibly accessible. Sure, that audience may have to be high out of their minds, but he still has a way of reaching the listener while venturing out into the strange. With a beautiful collection of albums Tim has made before this, and with how great this new album sounds, it’s undeniable that he’s not going to let up making some of the greatest, trippiest, mind-bogglingiest, heartfelt music around. Tim might be strange, but in this sense, I mean it as the greatest compliment a musician can receive.