Don't be fooled by the geeky irony of some of its technogically oriented song titles, such as “Whole Earth Tascam” and “GRM Blue I.” Instrumental Tourist is among some of the most deliberate and best work by Tim Hecker and Daniel Lopatin.
Moving away from both Lopatin's (a.k.a. Oneohtrix Point Never) analog bubble baths and sample origami, and Hecker's languorous drone clouds, the album they've produced resists easy classification. Although both musicians have bad cases of the Blade Runner Blues, with swarms of smarmy preset sounds flitting in and out of the mix, every plaintive lazer-shakuhachi coo, choral pad, and ersatz dulcimer hit, is answered by an epileptic burst of fuzz, a deep frothing aural pool, or shiny gossamer. Shockingly, these otherwise corny preset sounds are integrated and recontextualized incredibly well. Very little of it smacks of gear-head humour. Instead you're treated to a strange landscape that is both lush and jagged, and both organic and plastic-like.

There's quite a lot going on, yet things sound balanced and delineated. There are, of course, melodic strands and elongated chorales, shot through with a Heckerian blur, as well as the strange gnarled bits that pop up, but the listener is afforded a perfect amount of space, and is thus able to ascertain and savour each gesture. This is an inspired collaboration.