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Tim Hecker
Catalogue Number
Release Date
October 10, 2013


This album features in the top ten albums of 2013

In a year where much critical attention focused on rough-edged, dark electronic excursions from the underground, Tim Hecker’s Virgins proved a startling and beautifully persuasive anomaly. 2011’s Ravedeath 1972 had been a masterclass in pushing acoustic sources to breaking point, with instrumental samples rendered almost untouchably distant through layer upon layer of distortion and decay. Virgins’ showed the influence of collaborative work with Daniel Lopatin on 2012’s Instrumental Tourist in its lucidity of sound quality, with Hecker allowing a previously degraded acoustic presence to take the fore in an album dominated by plaintive pianos, sharp brass, and warm harmoniums.

Hecker achieves an unusually effective poise in his combination of acoustic and electronic, zooming in on melancholy minimalist piano loops from peer Ben Frost, before subjecting them to disruptive distortions and manipulations, or placing grand brass chorales in spaces which gave back malevolent reverbs. The effect is an instrumental experience which draws as much upon psychedelia as contemporary electronic music, and avoids the saccharine traps of ambient music through its sheer volatility.

Virgins is a truly singular record which injected much needed urgency into the body of work navigating the nether region between instrumental and electronic disciplines, and offered a sense of disorientating depth and disruption of time which seemed very much of-the-moment for burgeoning producers using a more sinister, oppressive sonic palette.

Digital Tracklist

  1. 1 Prism 2:53 Buy
  2. 2 Virginal I 6:16 Buy
  3. 3 Radiance 3:23 Buy
  4. 4 Live Room 7:02 Buy
  5. 5 Live Room Out 2:37 Buy
  6. 6 Virginal II 5:23 Buy
  7. 7 Black Refraction 3:33 Buy

    Black Refraction

  8. 8 Incense at Abu Ghraib 1:53 Buy

    Incense at Abu Ghraib

  9. 9 Amps, Drugs, Harmonium 3:03 Buy

    Amps, Drugs, Harmonium

  10. 10 Stigmata I 2:18 Buy
  11. 11 Stigmata II 3:56 Buy
  12. 12 Stab Variation 6:30 Buy

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