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Tim Hecker - Virgins CD (album) cover

VIRGINS

Tim Hecker

 

Progressive Electronic

2.33 | 8 ratings

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Guldbamsen
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2 stars One of the reasons we're not goats

There are some obvious advantages we have over goats we as people should cherish like the very earth we roam. First of all, hands. I love my hands - in fact so much so, that I've been known to clap furiously into the night, applauding the very instrument at work with a fierce and burning love that sadly would've been lost on the aforementioned hoof bearing critter.

One thing that has always puzzled me about goats is their ability to devour whatever their cruel and, let's face it, rather poor cuisine oafs serve them with. I remember visiting the zoo back when I was a wee kid. I had on my beloved KISS t-shirt, which I wore proudly and with much gusto - until I thought I'd run into a snag of some kind. I froze instantly, reminding myself not to panic - maybe Gene Simmons tongue hadn't been stretched even more than what it already was. I then turned my head and saw a small goat chewing happily on my shirt.... It proceeded to do so until I found something else eatable to stuff in it's face. Chance would have it that I was standing on top of some rather foul smelling cardboard, which I then force-fed into it's lazily chewing jaws.

Now what on earth does all this talk of goats and cardboards have to with Canadian electronic wizard Tim Hecker and his new release 'Virgins'? Well we, as a species, have evolved from the stage of merely feeding ourselves for survival. Hell, more than anything else, It now seems as though we're on the brink of eating ourselves to an early grave.... anyway we've refined our eating habits and the way we prepare our meals. We got so much going for us that our tasting buds have reached a powerful sensitivity to everything we decide to stuff our faces with. So why on earth would we ever go back to eating cardboard?

Well the same goes for music. We have so much to choose from these days, it literally boggles the mind, and maybe that's why I find it increasingly perplexing to see this album heralded pretty much everywhere on the internet as some kind of prodigal modern electronic release. Personally, I'd pretty much call it cardboard muzak. Now before I go into all of this, I'd like to point out my natural affinity for the more out there music. I loooove strange unorthodox sounds and tapestries and am furthermore an electronic junkie always itching and scratching for the next fix - the next trip that takes me completely elsewhere.

On 'Virgins' there's a sense of an omnipresent stagnant droning atmospheric going down. Much of the time I am reminded of Lustmord and his unique ways of pushing these mountainous drones forward, yet with Hecker the overall emphasis lies elsewhere, meaning that you just get this wall paper like entity hovering quietly in the back like some shy ninja with a fear of knives. Then you get the touch-and-go piano clinkering. "CLINK CLINK.......CLINK CLINK" -Frequently used as a way of incorporating a bit of beat into the mix, yet with the intonation and rhythm sense comparable to that of a chicken, the outcome comes across crudely and perhaps more important: drearily. Even when the piano decides to dive head first into small melodic segments, it takes on the form of those adverts on tv which promote health, sound economics and intelligent housing. Yawn!

Then there's the static noise - the television sound that suddenly got hugely influential in modern electronic music sometime around the turn of the millennium. Hecker though tries to implement these white noise walls of sound at the tail end of the occasional synth squeaks, making them crackle and pop like old wiring gone bad. Other times he plays around with them - fiddling about with the volume making them appear as fragmented rhythms and, at times, something akin to melodies.

This is all about atmospherics though. It's about moods and gentle unmelodious waves of sound. Sometimes it sounds like a factory hall getting cleaned out with a couple of brooms whereas there are other moments, where I feel transported into a piano tuning shop where this old dude sits around and clinks away on arbitrary tangents.

I am so disappointed with this thing. I was hoping for something special and new - something that rivalled all those fantastic reviews I'd read............but no dice - no cigar - no real zing was to be found. Listening to this album all the way through makes me feel like a goat, -and not one of those fine-dining buggers who hang out at the local Burger King - no the very same that keep munching on KISS t-shirts and cardboard.

Guldbamsen | 2/5 |

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