Tim Hecker
Ravedeath, 1972


3.0
good

Review

by Eno USER (34 Reviews)
February 18th, 2011 | 49 replies | 6,142 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Over and under-worded; Hecker says too much, but could've said more.

6 of 8 thought this review was well written

Tim Hecker has always epitomized everything I adore about ambient music. His dense compositions have always seemed to be shaped from the unknown, yet melded into something emotionally effective and musically huge. His textural, heavily glitch-influenced works have always been simultaneously stimulative and bemusing, generating a profound effect on me that I could never quite define. That had perhaps always been what his work was about, manipulating harsh noises and wavering synth layers to form something barely recognizable, yet meaningful to the listener. That profound sense of unsure feelings only accentuated what human elements were trigged by his music.

So it's rather hard to pinpoint what Ravedeath, 1972 lacks. It's a huge record, a smorgasbord of glitchy, somber build-ups and intense melodic collages. Expanding on themes from Harmony in Ultraviolet, Ravedeath is divided into multiple movements and individual transitioning tracks. The entire 52 minutes of this LP incorporates the many facets of his music often within the same song, throwing a range of mournful textures and hard-hitting electronics in and out of the mix. While order is brought by the uniformity in the movements, the songs seem to build with confidence, yet convey little in the process. In past albums, he had successfully transformed unfamiliar sounds into something personable, may it be the reoccurring sporadic electronics of his debut, or the consistent hypnosis triggered by the phased out synth swells of Harmony In Ultraviolet. These albums were long-winded, self-indulgent in the themes they explored, but the themes were explored with this child-like sense of infatuation that the tracks seemed shorter and meant a lot more than the noise on the forefront. Ravedeath, 1972 packs a harder punch than any of his albums yet, but in all the intense imagery and soundscapes it generates, Hecker's work here seems to share little with the listener.

Yet I stumble over the record again; there's a method to Ravedeath's madness and it's perhaps too revealing. Each designated movement/portion of the album feels it's constantly building, drudgingly adding layer upon texture, cinematically rising; but there's no definitive climax. The record constantly searches for something bigger, eventually settling for literally nothing. The staggering heights of distortion Hecker reaches on tracks like "In the Air II" are incredible, but these sparse moments feel distant and unrevealed, built in a direction shadowed by reverb and overdone atmospherics. Hecker never basks in climactic shoegaze glory, only presenting glimpses of what would be a brilliant peak, in fragments. The constant building motion of each track feels like mere cinema in contrast to Hecker's past works that would drown the listener in ambience, only to pull them back up and recall how brilliant the air is.

In the end, the most enticing moments of Ravedeath are the outros to every song/movement. The fading away of his compositions, the crackles and synth layers gentling concluding each track add worth and even an endearing factor to the huge trek that the album is. The dying horns and quirky guitar glitches that conclude "Analog Parlysis, 1978" might just be Hecker's best work yet. Such moments of shimmering beauty and subtle finality provide a foil unfortunately not big enough to counter the onslaught of crescendos and soundscaping that Ravedeath, 1972 lumps upon me.



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user ratings (366)
Chart.
4
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other reviews of this album
Tyler Fisher EMERITUS (4)
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Enotron
February 19th 2011



7695 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

haven't written in forever, but it's late and my thoughts on this record are all warped and apologies if the review reads really fucking weird

point out typos plz

Enotron
February 19th 2011



7695 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

o0o0o0o0o0o0o bnm my b guys ill try to like this

lancebramsay
February 19th 2011



1585 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

You captured my thoughts on this exactly. The entire album just kind of washed by. It was definitely lacking for me.

lancebramsay
February 19th 2011



1585 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Why is this BNM but Nicolas Jaar is not...? Craziness.

Athom
Staff Reviewer
February 19th 2011



17116 Comments


this is so good. smh

also this is bnm'd because 5 staffers love it.

Digging: Sad Lovers and Giants - Feeding the Flame

Spare
February 19th 2011



5223 Comments


smd bitch this is awesome

Bitchfork
February 19th 2011



7584 Comments


haven't cared to listen yet
been too busy with JLIAT - which a certain user named Eno needs to hear


also I would never say that hecker's ever used harsh noises in anything js

lobby
February 19th 2011



1251 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i feel this is much more powerful than Imaginary Country, haven't heard the rest of his

couldwinarabbit
February 19th 2011



6996 Comments


sounds cool this guy is generally pretty awesome.

Enotron
February 19th 2011



7695 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

also this is bnm'd because 5 staffers love it.


and there was me thinking it was bnm'd because they all hated it

also I would never say that hecker's ever used harsh noises in anything js


mainly referring to the white noise he uses

DoubtGin
February 19th 2011



6686 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

album is amazing though

scissorlocked
February 19th 2011



3479 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Never heard of this guy.Sounds interesting

Any suggestions for a starting album?

ow, and good review man

Digging: Fantastic Mr Fox - Sketches

DoubtGin
February 19th 2011



6686 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Harmony in Ultraviolet is his best, so thats a good starting point

pmmets07
February 19th 2011



5784 Comments


tim heidecker > tim hecker

FourSquare20
February 19th 2011



320 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I was so excited for this album. Definitely a letdown.

Enotron
February 19th 2011



7695 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

have you heard it yet? i liked it at first

FourSquare20
February 19th 2011



320 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah, I've listened to it multiple times. I mean, it's not that I don't enjoy it. It just pales in comparison to his previous work.

Irving
Staff Reviewer
February 19th 2011



7011 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The prose in this review was amazing, but I'm actually not 100% sure what exactly is the message you're trying to convey. Review seems a bit directionless, to be honest. Pos, though.

Digging: Caleb McAlpine - All Things New

Enotron
February 19th 2011



7695 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah i had trouble translating how the record made me feel, but for what it's worth the structure of the review is a bit like the album(or songs on the album)

to break it down tho

1st paragraph: general background info on hecker and why i dig him

2nd: revolves mainly around the density of the album, how the amount of work he packs in leaves the listener lost, unable to connect with any defined sound. the album's ambitious approach is huge in execution, but doesn't connect with the listener with the same sort of personable cohesiveness found on his earlier albums.

3rd: the record is revealing and overly cinematic with it's constant sort of building-up sound. it leaves it sounding obvious, yet doesn't capitalize on any solid peak either. just builds and dies without ever dwelling in pure ambient bliss.

4th: the outro paragraph. talks about how pleasant the outros are.

Bitchfork
February 19th 2011



7584 Comments


"mainly referring to the white noise he uses"
yeah i would say white noises and glitches. primarily the latter. when hecker starts using loads of feedback and dog-whistle sine waves you let me know



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