Anoyo, the latest LP from Tim Hecker, will come as a welcome surprise to anyone who enjoyed the sound artist’s 2018 album Konoyo. As is hinted at by the similar titles, Anoyo (translation; ‘the world over there’) is a companion piece to Konoyo (translation; 'this world'). These tracks here were born out of the same sessions, and as was the case with the preceding record we find Hecker drawing on the Japanese court music style gagaku here. Furthemore, the gagaku ensemble Tokyo Gakuso play just as big of a part this time around as they did on Konoyo.
However, while the 2018 record was full of dense composition and intense emotion, Anoyo is more coy. The pieces that make up Anoyo are sparser and have a questioning, open feel to them. Tokyo Gakuso’s considered, ceremonial playing rings out at many points, but we also find Hecker swallowing up the ensemble to create astral ambiences.
On ‘You Never Were’ and ‘That World’ organic sounds soon become smudged by digital artefacts and grainy billows of reverb. ‘Not Alone’ sees Basinski-esque hover over a conversation between percussion and drums. At the heart of the album ‘Step Away From Konoyo’ and ‘Into The Void’ set us adrift in soundscapes that are at once intimate and wide-ranging, halfway between Stars Of The Lid and bvdub.
After the turbulent Konoyo, Tim Hecker and the Tokyo Gakuso group take a more considered tack on Anoyo.