Tim Hecker
Virgins


4.5
superb

Review

by Bergtatt USER (1 Reviews)
November 2nd, 2013 | 27 replies


Release Date: 10/14/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Do you remember the first time the world faded into one body?

Brilliant sunrise drones are challenged abruptly with stochastic bursts of chime, piano, and glitch, and the cohesive progress of the opening track Prism decays into an organic throb of electronic noise. Concepts arise but are jauntily quelled before their climax by new voices who fight not to be heard but just to live, to live brightly, to live for their own purpose – a holistic purpose aligned by both their nature and necessity. The experience is as coherent as it is engaging.

Electronic beats and rich synth swell alongside flute, piano, and woodwind. A post-rock-like manipulation of texture and dynamism and subtle incorporation of sampling is broken suddenly by almost ritualistic ambient passages, which themselves are antagonised by extended portamentos of noise and vibrant bursts of instrumentation. There is conflict – musical discontinuity is actively emphasised – but not in an uncomfortable or aggressive sense. The music is complex and challenging, but unquestionably easy to listen to. There are no bold motifs of sorrow or empowerment, but instead a quiet and deeply moving sense of unfolding wonder.

A stumbling, ethereal lead marks the start of the title suite Virginial, and continues to resurface between explorative lulls before building to a frantic climax cut prematurely short by quavering breathy gasps of synthesiser and warm feedback. “I open at the close” - a meditative piano line that threatened to blossom in the suite’s first section finally builds, and dies.

Disjointed, euphoric dream becomes the growing awareness of heart and breath - the sharp, counterpoint pulses and muffled electronic shrieks of Stigmata, a dense passage of glitch and minimalist sampling – and the first taste of euphoric life. Unspoken, tentative joy becomes peace, wandering thought, small rustles of unnoticed movement. Soft oboe, fluttering drone, and finally...

Virgins is often abruptly faltering, perhaps even overly concise, but its dim, timeless intimacy is all the more compelling for this truthful imperfection. Its tale is both immersive and universal, evoking afresh memories reshaped subtly at each recollection by focus and nurture. Understated as a “deliberate excursion into live, improvisatory performance”, Virgins succeeds most vividly when beheld in light of its remarkable concept – a touching and profoundly human piece of art.


user ratings (298)
Chart.
4
excellent
other reviews of this album
TheNexus100 (3.5)
Hecker won't quit....

DoNotBendAscend (4.5)
Virgins is a finely tuned integration of both meditative and cerebral experiences in music, producin...

csvhrvrnxell (4)
Virgins sees Hecker at his most lucid melodically and rhythmically, yet arguably represents his most...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Brostep
Staff Reviewer
November 1st 2013


3471 Comments


as disjointed as Hecker seems. great review, have a pos

mindleviticus
November 1st 2013


8292 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

What does that summary even mean

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
November 1st 2013


3471 Comments


It's artsy, nothing else matters mindle

mindleviticus
November 1st 2013


8292 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I ain't complainin'

oltnabrick
November 1st 2013


31094 Comments


I might

Digging: Ariel Pink - Pom Pom

EaglesBecomeVultures
November 1st 2013


5255 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

aaah i'm sorry i accidentally negged trying to pos!!!!

Digging: Iceage - Plowing Into the Field of Love

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
November 1st 2013


3471 Comments


oh no, that can't be solved by clicking the pos button again!@!!!!!3121211!!!

EaglesBecomeVultures
November 1st 2013


5255 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

crisis averted.

GnarlyShillelagh
Staff Reviewer
November 2nd 2013


6156 Comments

Album Rating: 4.1

interesting style of writing

Gwyn.
November 2nd 2013


15160 Comments


hey nice username

great album

Bergtatt
November 2nd 2013


73 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

MindLeviticus - I tried to make that clear as the review went on, but maybe it was just as dense and disjointed as the album. Virgins has loads of fantastic reviews already, but the most powerful thing about it to me was its concept (ie, the title). When you listen to it with that in mind, everything changes.

Thanks for all the pos'!

Keyblade
November 2nd 2013


15019 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Nice username [2]

Digging: Submotion Orchestra - Alium

BigPleb
November 2nd 2013


37123 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Key 4.5'd this? That's all I need to know.

Digging: Kayo Dot - Coffins on Io

Jacquibim
Contributing Reviewer
November 2nd 2013


14741 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

agreed

Digging: Off Minor - The Heat Death of the Universe

EaglesBecomeVultures
November 2nd 2013


5255 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

amazing review for AOTY

Bergtatt
November 2nd 2013


73 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This could actually be a 5... it's an AotY contender, but I didn't want to rush into it. It's difficult comparing anything to Bath, Skinny Fists, Dead As Dreams etc.

sniper
November 2nd 2013


19076 Comments


might be my aoty too, probably could have reviewed at a 4.5 myself.

i think your review is very effective, btw. pos. it's like a track-by-track but without the laziness that usually defines those.

Bergtatt
November 2nd 2013


73 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks sniper! It actually grew in the telling - I wrote it for a student newspaper at my Uni, and added the second-to-last paragraph about Stigmata/Stab Variation after they asked for a few more words. I ended up not submitting it to them after the editors ravaged an article my partner wrote - hey, such is journalism at these institutions.

I'm pretty anti track-by-tracks in general, but I think each track on this is so different and adds so much to the story that it seemed almost necessary.

If there's any criticism or advice though, it would be cool to hear!

sniper
November 2nd 2013


19076 Comments


i actually think you did a good job describing what it feels like and what it sounds like without ever actually being explicit. it's good for this kind of music but reviews like this do tend to get down-voted for whatever reason.

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
November 2nd 2013


50553 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I much prefer this style to the "the second song kicks off with a riff, it's a good riff, and that goes into a cool drum part, wow" style you know



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