Tim Hecker - An Imaginary Country

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  • Tim Hecker used to make techno under the name Jetone. Great glitchy dub-techno that appeared perhaps most famously alongside fellow Canadian trailblazers Akufen and Deadbeat on Force Inc's spotlight comp Montreal Smoked Meat. He soon rejected rhythm however, claiming it restrictive, and hasn't looked back, favouring beatless feedback compositions akin to the sort that Fennesz has built a career upon. An Imaginary Country continues the project—one which began in 2001 with Haunt Me, Haunt Me Do It Again—and adds a conceptual element which threatens to impose a restriction in scope comparable to that of a 4/4 thud. Hecker's music has always been remarkable in its ability to conjure fictitious spaces, post-apocalyptic vistas and decaying industrial environments, so the title's evocation of an imaginary location seems logical, even obvious. Empty coastlines, lakes and waterfalls are easily conveyed by the shimmering, grainy hiss that ebbs and flows through tracks like "Sea of Pulses," "The Inner Shore" and "A Stop at the Chord Cascades." The digital chirps of "Pond Life" are almost literal, while the ghostly sheets of wounded guitar which crawl through "Borderlands" recall the scarred wasteland of Tarkovsky's Zone. Hecker's command of the sound spectrum is particularly rewarding: Threads of high, mid- and low tones are nimbly woven into vast, coherent squalls, although here it's less resistant to ambient's passivity than, say, Radio Amour or Mirages. Like Murcof's Cosmos, the use of descriptive titles takes away much of the fun, with meaning dumbly spelled out to us, leaving An Imaginary Country to drift by, pleasantly but forgettably. Re-listening to Haunt me... has reinforced just how static Hecker's work has become. I, for one, would welcome the return of Jetone, and would be excited to see how this could jar his non-rhythmic music out of the—admittedly beautiful—feedback loops which have coloured it for nearly a decade.
  • Tracklist
      01. 100 Years Ago 02. Sea of Pulses 03. The Inner Shore 04. Utropics 05. Pond Life 06. Borderlands 07. A Stop at the Chord Cascades 08. Paragon Point 09. Her Black Horizon 10. Currents of Electrostasy 11. Where Shadows Make Shadows 12. 200 Years Ago