on vrigins, tim hecker takes a decidedly more rhythmic approach to his by now well-established brand of sculpted, reverberating musical abstraction. skittering, percussive piano motives, sweeping organ, and distorted electric guitar sounds become musical objects that hecker subjects to increasingly warped studio treatments. listening to one of the resultant pieces is akin to viewing the same three-dimensional object from a steadily shifting perspective, revealing new angles and details even as a fog of white noise threatens to completely obstruct our view. this will all be familiar to those who know his previous work, but virgins possesses a certain ghostly eeriness and more importantly, a heightened attention to negative space that mark a departure from the cavernous, icy textures and pastoral drones of his past few releases. this is hecker at his most lucid melodically (dropped pianos' bare sketches not included), and yet arguably represents his most challenging work to date. hecker has often described his albums as failed attempts to crystallize his music into his ideal form of "intellectually satisfying ecstatic music," but this might be the closest he has come yet.