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 shi
tty 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
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?