Tim Hecker
Harmony in Ultraviolet


5.0
classic

Review

by J. Ponton EMERITUS
September 16th, 2012 | 110 replies | 11,887 views


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Laying in a field at night, staring at all the scars.

Like our Channing, I barely hear it anymore.

That is to say, Harmony in Ultraviolet has become something much more than a listening experience - to the point where its sound, the varied, vibrant puffs and ‘blasts’ of ambient distortion, is registered in my mind in a way that crosses over into the rest of my other senses and just bursts. And just bursts. And just bursts. And just cataclysmically bursts through my perception of my surroundings like an errie moment of deja vu-tinted nostalgia all at once, rendering the act of just listening to it as an audio experience utterly useless. Or rather, impossible. Tim Hecker takes me away – to the past, to the future, or to the very could-be, on this subliminal album.

The description of the experience best follows the line of the word ultraviolet: those rays of color that mere humans cannot see. The ambient aficionado may scoff, saying Ultraviolet is merely a good, nay an excellent ambient release on an in-depth analysis. But if you are solely a tourist of said genre that need only a few albums to fill that sleep-aiding niche in your listening library, here it is. It walks that line – or transcends it, in reference to the pressing of our four other senses – in a way no other ambient album has, or likely ever will. Ultraviolet is as the term ultraviolet because when you listen you experience something more than a human could apart from it. Clincher: You see what a mere human cannot see.

My reference to Freeman is not without merit. The feelings of 2010 – relationships, school, goals, the damned descent of my mental health – are logged away in the wuffle-wobble of the “Harmony in Blue” suit. The late nights of searching, longing, heart ache that accompany my meandering through campus roads under dim-lit streetlights sizzle and caress the fine lines that sink and build through “Dungeoneering”, all like a black and white memory played out on an old fashioned video reel in an empty theater. And now, and now, driving in the lonely dark morning to my shitty job paints the shoof-shoof of late tracks “Radio Spiricom” and the twin tracks “Whitecaps of White Noise”. My crushing depression of these days fades into the distance with the haunting omen “Blood Rainbows” that brings Ultraviolet to close.

These memories of past-present mix with Hecker’s one-of-a-kind work to make Ultraviolet into a bit of a drug trip reverie, really. And if you examine it too closely – that is, here he plays good ambient, here he transitions nicely – you miss the experience. You miss the classic. Instead, if you’re willing Hecker opens up the great wide open for you to long bits and pieces of yourself to reside, and to remember. A painful listen, possibly. But that depends on where you are an as individual and what you log into its grasp for you to visit for the days and nights to come.

I hope my future listens reveal new treasures, but that is a selfish admission. Because as you know by now I’m not talking about new tones or cool new ambient blasts to discover: I’m talking about better days to fall asleep to, better days to remember. For after all, it is true you won’t find a better ambient escape that transitions so profoundly yet so perfectly as the late-night car ride that is Ultraviolet. I imagine feelings of love and joy would suit its contents well, actually: driving on the highway on the road to the meeting place by the lake that I awkwardly gave you our first kiss, we sit in silence, holding hands, surrendering bits and pieces of us, of this dream that we once shared, into the plethora of pillows and compartments of Ultraviolet that paint our very world the invisible ultraviolet.

Oh, I do believe I can see it. Can you?



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4.2
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Ponton
Emeritus
September 15th 2012



5790 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

this could be a movie, this could be our final act. we don't need these happy endings

mindleviticus
September 15th 2012



8220 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Best review of this album I've seen. This is exactly how I feel about it. I listened to this on repeat as I read Richard Dawkins books.



Hyperion1001
Staff Reviewer
September 15th 2012



18311 Comments


my favorite hecker so far i think

Digging: Shed - Shot Selection

Ponton
Emeritus
September 15th 2012



5790 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

thanks man. its pretty emotional and weighty but its how it feels

Hyperion1001
Staff Reviewer
September 15th 2012



18311 Comments


pretty sure you recd me this album like a year and a half ago when i asked for ambient recs

that was a good rec

mindleviticus
September 15th 2012



8220 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Last paragraph is golden

Ponton
Emeritus
September 15th 2012



5790 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

thats not just a cliche. i do have that memory

glad it worked hyperion

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
September 15th 2012



50093 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Getting this

Digging: Tiny Moving Parts - Pleasant Living

Hyperion1001
Staff Reviewer
September 15th 2012



18311 Comments


should already have it

mindleviticus
September 15th 2012



8220 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Should've listened to it from birth Treb

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
September 15th 2012



15016 Comments


It’s cold outside and I’m in the passenger seat and it’s early in the morning and we’re driving somewhere and the heater is on and I can hear it and I’m warm and I’m about to fall asleep and I’ve got a huge crush on you.

Ponton
Emeritus
September 15th 2012



5790 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

hahaha

mindleviticus
September 15th 2012



8220 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

album is destiny

MichaelSnoxall
September 15th 2012



12163 Comments


Tim Hecker rules agreed.

Ponton
Emeritus
September 15th 2012



5790 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

this does read like i wrote it as a teenager

Hyperion1001
Staff Reviewer
September 15th 2012



18311 Comments


its ok one of my recent reviews was kind of like this

its good to indulge in a little pretentiousness once in a while

klap
Staff Reviewer
September 15th 2012



10326 Comments


are you and channing dating? superb review but i am confused

Digging: Literature - Chorus

Ponton
Emeritus
September 15th 2012



5790 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

ive never had a conversation with channing but i suppose he'd find me lacking. thanks rudy

klap
Staff Reviewer
September 15th 2012



10326 Comments


where'd that guy go anyways. speaking of missing guys does this mean you are back on the horse

tarkus
September 15th 2012



5560 Comments


dig ravedeath more cool review



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