Continually repositioning himself right at the exacting forefront of vanguardist electronic movement musical – whether that be wreaking sacrilegious havoc in consecrated spaces or conspiring with Daniel Lopatin on last year’s immaculate Instrumental Tourist effort – Montréal drone guru and master of those most ominous tones Tim Hecker is less a passing artist and more an ambient mainstay; a permanent inhabitant of the envelope that continues to be pushed along by technological evolution. And a wide-eyed gaze into his forthcoming latest full-length, terrifyingly entitled Virgins, is destined only to heighten already raised eyebrows and with it further his stock. For irrespective of constricting genre compartmentalisation, Virginal II is a work of astounding worth composed with commensurate levels of passion and precision.
A spectral pianistic refrain plagues the early exchanges, its loops overlapping and falling back on themselves in softly crescendoing frenzy as an initial hum drains away to leave a stark crystallinity in its startling wake. Round and around go these cascading keys, as though locked in purgatorial circles slowly winding downwards until buffeted up and away by surges of spluttering synth billow that, if firmamental in texture, carry with them a forbidding sense of menace. Sure enough, as glitchy vibrations again take hold, Hecker hits upon an inimitably demonic timbre – the violent, irrevocable point of consummation, perhaps. Though irrespective of your perceptions as to that first time, once Virginal II has gracefully ebbed away from earshot, you’re left helplessly pining for its swift return.
Virgins is anticipated October 14th via Kranky, while Tim takes to the pulpit once more for St John at Hackney September 19th.