Saturday, 11 June 2011

1972, 2011 - A Ravedeath Is A Ravedeath, Better Late Than Never...

Now I know this is almost five months old, but I think I would be lynched by some of my dearest and nearest if I didnt at least mention in passing the excellence that is Tim Hecker's Ravedeath 1972. My only reason for not talking about it sooner is that I have been waiting to receive a copy of the album since March, but I am in isolated climes over here in Australia...

Anyway, its is great. Recorded in a church in Reykjavik, Iceland and using a pipe organ as the primary sound source, this new piece is essentially a live recording. In reality though, it exists in a netherworld between captured live performance and meticulous studio work, melding the two approaches to sonic artifice into a unifying force. It is in parts a document of air circulating within a wooden room, and also a pagan work of physical resonance within a space once reserved for the hallowed breath of the divine...

You can tell that Iceland-based artist Ben Frost is involved in this production - it has his glacial tonality permeating throughout. But this is Hecker's beast, pure and simple - a comment on sonic decay, its a suite that transcends the experimental drone milieu to enter its own ethereal domain. The cover art - a B&W photograph of people in top of a building, tipping a piano over the edge - says much about what Hecker is building here on record. The organ stands throughout as the last bastion of aurality, its organic structure constantly wading through the sonic morass that the effusive waves of synthetic instrumentation flowing around it create. Its a beautiful conceptual piece, evoking an arm wrestle that is as arresting as it is elegiac. The biggest attractor here though is the fact that it is so immediate, and warrants repeat listens. Now that is a triumph for modern music.

Ravedeath 1972 is out now via Kranky. You can purchase it here - I hope you have better luck than I did... So what the hell! Because of my long wait, and just in case you suffer the same fate, here is the entirety of one of the movements on the album, titles "In The Fog"!

Tim Hecker - In The Fog I
Tim Hecker - In The Fog II
Tim Hecker - In The Fog III

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