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tim hecker
radio amor
mille plateaux   2003
  see also
mille plateux website

album rating: 3

submitted by anton on 20-May-2003

on his second full-length album tim hecker finally arrives at the most "articulate" sound, compared to his previous efforts in the field. initially taking a radical step away from his jetone moniker, he embarked on the path of heavily layered, overwhelming noisy drones extracted from acoustic instruments. even back then what separated him from the multitude of renowned musicians in this genre (from fennesz to ultra milkmaids, troum and magwheels) was the ease with which he made his material so accessible to the general audience. all these acoustic scratches and bleeps only emphasized the fluidity and density of sound; rarely annoying, they managed to remain in the state of constant change.

radio amor builds on the concepts so dear to me - deep ambience with atonal, looping, crackling structures; enveloping layered textures where digital imperfections mix with acoustic strings, muffled melodic remnants and vague samples. the sound moves from a single droning string with its desolate feel to a thick, continuously changing stream, volatile and unstable, full of unexpected. these concepts have been in the air for years, but rarely someone rises above purely conceptual sound manipulation to produce a work at all times remains interesting and moving.

true to its constantly changing nature (or as a result of over-intellectualizing, leading to a healthy need for some cultural slumming), mille plateaux has recently started exploring the dimension of pop. having finally assimilated glitch as a valid expressive element (instead of being a tool of aggressive exploration), the label starts flirting with more accessible aspects of clicks+cuts. it undoubtedly will result in embarrassing one hit wonders like digital disco, or almost faceless in their universality clicks+cuts3, but in case of tim hecker, this shift only improved his sound, stripping it down to the essence.

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