Tim Hecker
Konoyo


4.5
superb

Review

by Aaron W. STAFF
October 1st, 2018 | 52 replies


Release Date: 2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: It's all too beautiful.

Konoyo, in a way, looks just like its cover. Surrounding a falling electric piano and many objects and fire strewn about in a cluster, the image that one sees is much like the sound of the album it houses. It suggests at something confrontational, perhaps something lurking beneath the exterior and just waiting to burst out; and yet it hints at something oddly violent, but with an admirable restraint behind it. The sound of Konoyo reflects more or less on the heavy Gagaku (Japanese classical music) influence, as well as the great usage of electroacoustic elements within the album's sonic palette. I won't claim to be an expert nor a massive fan of Tim Hecker's works; I've only been somewhat of a fan for a short time, and even in the extended period of time I've had to reconcile the ideas and the shift in tone from his last record Love Streams, there's something wildly impenetrable in these solemn and ponderous soundscapes. There's a certain spirituality in this album that very much lends itself to the augmentation of sparse strings and gliding electronics, ranging from mere introspection to something very existential, whether it is being left out for all to see or to be hidden beneath a mass of mutated, glacial sounds.

Konoyo doesn't open itself to others quite easily nor was it meant to be. But in such difficult and abstract works, the effort to piece together an idea of the artist's intentions and thoughts is all the more satisfying than being given the answer on first glance -- "This Life," for how slow of an introduction it is, sets the mood marvelously for Hecker's most reflective music yet, but doesn't do as much as allow one to be eased into the lonesome world of Konoyo. Nor would one listen do a listener any good. The value in returning to Konoyo lies not in its accessibility (or the lack of) but in the beautiful ways it transports one to a different place, whether it be frightening or melancholic to this person. Konoyo is a heavy album, emotionally speaking, in a way that is difficult to explain, yet can be expressed in a way that only someone like Tim Hecker would know. By destroying, contorting and reconfiguring these sounds, Hecker draws out the most visceral emotions in himself via soundwaves -- his music being his therapy, and us, the audience, being his witness to his solemn excursion into his very soul. It's all too beautiful.




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user ratings (115)
Chart.
4
excellent
other reviews of this album
MadKungFu (4.5)
Tim Hecker crafts his finest work this decade...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Frippertronics
Staff Reviewer
September 30th 2018


17897 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

i've lost my touch

Digging: Townes Van Zandt - Delta Momma Blues

JustJoe.
September 30th 2018


5130 Comments


Fripperelli.

I'll read this & tell you you haven't lost a step.

Digging: Boards of Canada - Music Has the Right to Children

JustJoe.
September 30th 2018


5130 Comments


"The sound of Konoyo reflects more or less on the heavy Gagaku (Japanese classical music) influence, as well as the great usage of electroacoustic elements as well within the album's sonic palette."

That double "as well [as]" sort of reads awkward. Could probably do without it the second time.

Also, I'm thinking maybe the opening two sentences could be merged into a more fluid statement of how the album cover matches the sounds contained.

But maybe that's just me. Also you haven't lost a step.

Frippertronics
Staff Reviewer
September 30th 2018


17897 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

much thanks for pointing out that goofy little gaffe



personally speaking, i could always be better, but who knows. It's not like I've lost the drive, but I definitely feel something is off.

JustJoe.
September 30th 2018


5130 Comments


Can't we all!

climactic
September 30th 2018


22323 Comments


another great one, timmy can do no wrong

Frippertronics
Staff Reviewer
September 30th 2018


17897 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

whoa climothy

climactic
September 30th 2018


22323 Comments


hey dude

Darius the Great
September 30th 2018


18082 Comments


sweet review fripp, cant wait to check this out

deathschool
September 30th 2018


22663 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Just listened to this and it’s awesome

Digging: Tim Hecker - Konoyo

Trophycase
October 1st 2018


899 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

And here I thought the keyboard on the cover was blasting off like a rocket, not falling

Frippertronics
Staff Reviewer
October 1st 2018


17897 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I actually have no clue, it could be anything for all I know.

CaptainDooRight
October 1st 2018


2569 Comments


couldn’t get into this what am I doing wrong

Gyromania
October 1st 2018


25902 Comments


It's blasting off, otherwise the fire wouldn't be behind it

Trophycase
October 1st 2018


899 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

"couldn’t get into this what am I doing wrong"



right there with you man, and I love mr. hecker. Giving this probably another 4 or 5 listens just cause I like his other work so much, but this walks some weird border between good and unlistenable for me.



JK starting to grow

JS19
October 1st 2018


6846 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

No this is brilliant

Digging: Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs - King of Cowards

NoSons
October 1st 2018


145 Comments


a Tim Hecker record AND a Jon Hopkins record all n the same year? FUCK YES SUBSCRIBE ME. this is awesome.

Digging: Brockhampton - Iridescence

MO
October 1st 2018


22432 Comments


yea this is really damn good. nice

Eons
October 1st 2018


1832 Comments


I'm gonna listen. I saw Needledrop give one of the songs a meh review or whatever.

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
October 1st 2018


16295 Comments


The progression of Hecker’s career from ravedeath to virgins to this is so interesting: as the pitchfork review pointed out, he’s more interested than ever in pointing up the source material of the sounds he produces, sort of like a visual artist stripping back elements of abstraction until what’s left is the reality of the photographic image, or something...this album seems to me like maybe his best since Harmony/Haunt Me, which have always been my favorites



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