Tim Hecker has been a prominent figure in the ambient electronic genre ever since his first recordings were released ten years ago by the Montreal label Alien8 Recordings. In past recordings, Hecker’s work has wrapped his digital manipulations into a fully organic sound.
Ravedeath, 1972 is a deeply beautiful and moving new album that shows how consistent his development as an artist has been. The recordings on this album create a wonderful synthesis of the sounds of a pipe organ, which Hecker recorded over the course of one day in a church in Reykjavik, and those of the digital processing he performed during the recording and afterwards in the mix. At moments, the halting breath of the pipe organ’s bellows is reminiscent of the stuttering of glitch music, while other movements soar into ethereal sonic registers that float somewhere between the echo of real space and the slight warp of decaying tape loops. Hecker continues to acknowledge and then disperse the physicality of the recorded sound throughout the entire album. Even during the final movement, where an insistently present piano enters to ground the ears again to physical space, the sound is quickly dissolved with a beautiful layered reverb. The result is a bracing and lyrical listen.