March 3, 2010

Tim Hecker - Harmony in Ultraviolet (2006)

Probably his cleanest, least obvious release, Harmony in Ultraviolet is a wonderful journey through sounds you never really knew existed. The whole thing is complex and the attention to detail is stunning. As ever, static is utilised to a beautiful effect. The release is not particularly ambient - it's not up-tempo either - it utilises both sides of the spectrum to a clever effect.

Sometimes tracks don't sound very kind on the ear (for instance, "Radio Spiricom") but I realized eventually that this was purposeful - it was done to make the next track sound better. For instance, Chimeras is an amazing track on its own but with Stags, Aircraft, Kings And Secretaries (ouch at the mispelling but not a bad track in its own right) shortly before it, it just sounds fantastic.

And that's how this album is really clever. It's not background music, it forces you to listen to it and switches between being electrifying and gently beautiful. The imagery can really be taken in any way - but to me, this album is like exploring dark volcanoes which are constantly erupting in static noise and then settling down again to become beautiful.

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