Tim Hecker
Anoyo


4.0
excellent

Review

by DadKungFu USER (33 Reviews)
May 16th, 2019 | 25 replies


Release Date: 2019 | Tracklist

Review Summary: That world is but a simulated blur/step away from konoyo/into the void/ Not alone you never were

Imagine that you’re looking at a moonlit pond that you’ve just thrown a heavy stone into. Imagine you’ve somehow forgotten that you’re looking at a pond, that the waves and ripples blurring and disfiguring the image of the moon in the water have become the only reality of that image that you perceive, an image rendered chaotic, and without form. You look at the pond and see beauty there, in a distorted moon broken into a thousand pieces, pieces which swarm and coalesce in patterns that can only seem turbulent and random, but which obey laws you don’t fully understand. Then, you look up and see the moon in the sky, clear, whole and serene. There is an unfathomable gulf between the moon in the sky and the moon in the water, and you understand that although both are the real moon, it’s impossible that either truly exists. That gulf, that undefinable emptiness is the true reality, without which there can be neither moon nor reflection.

In interviews, Tim Hecker has stated that in approaching the ideas of “Konoyo”, (this world or the physical world), and “Anoyo”, (that world or the spirit world), he decided to work with the negative space in between those two realities, a concept which vaguely correlates to the Japanese term “ma”, for which there is no direct translation. The concept of space, of emptiness, on a record as aurally dense as Konoyo seemed counterintuitive on the surface, and on that album’s own merits it would have been hard to justify. It’s the reflective, crystalline Anoyo, in conjunction with its turbulent companion album that brings that concept of the space between, the separation that nonetheless implies both interconnection and nonbeing, to fruition.

Constructed of the same elements, and adhering to the same general ethos, Anoyo offers resolution to its counterpart by acting as its undistorted reflection. Where Konoyo was a challenging, sometimes austere, sometimes cacophonous expression of the impermanence and motion of this world, as told through the mutation and distortion of gagaku, Anoyo is more serene, a meditative reflection on the next world that allows its musical roots to largely go undistorted. As such, Anoyo isn’t as overwhelming or challenging as its companion piece, its beauty revealing itself more readily, more naturalistically, sweeps of koto blooming out of electronic haze and keening bamboo flutes piping mournfully. Each piece drifts and flows into the next one, roaring noise and jagged synths playing more of a subtle companion role to the traditional instruments, rather than subsuming and recontextualizing them as on Konoyo. The effect is an overall sense of tranquility, a pensive, sedate atmosphere that can make the album seem overly placid at times, especially for Hecker, but which works best as a counterpoint to the expressive maelstrom that is Konoyo.

In Japanese, the terms Anoyo and Konoyo are only ever used in reference to the other, expressing the inseparable relation of “this world” to “that”. In a sense, this indicates that the two albums are a complete work, although Tim reinforces the concept of “ma” by releasing them separately. It’s a lofty and difficult concept to try to delineate through music alone, and it would be too easy to dismiss it as the faux-deep pretentious posturing that ambient artists all too often fall into if there wasn’t so much sheer effort and thought put into its execution. Hecker remains the premier voice in ambient music today, and although on its own Anoyo may not be his finest, when paired with its reflection, its counterpart, it’s the full realization of what is perhaps Hecker’s most ambitious vision.



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user ratings (71)
Chart.
3.9
excellent


Comments:Add a Comment 
DadKungFu
May 16th 2019


659 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Pretentious-ass opener but I thought it illustrated the album concept ok

Gyromania
May 16th 2019


27544 Comments


That first paragraph is pretentious af

Digging: black midi - Schlagenheim

DadKungFu
May 16th 2019


659 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It really is, but it's a pretty common metaphor in zen buddhist writings and I thought it was pretty apt for this album and the concepts it's exploring. If it's a whiff, meh. You miss 100% of the shots you don't take.

CaptainDooRight
May 16th 2019


4091 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

good stuff

Digging: Karmic Juggernaut - The Dreams That Stuff Are Made Of

zaruyache
May 16th 2019


21042 Comments


TIMECUBE LIVES

Digging: Imha Tarikat - Kara Ihlas

Jacquibim
Staff Reviewer
May 16th 2019


3372 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

very pretty sounds

Trophycase
May 17th 2019


1492 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"Anoyo isn’t as overwhelming or challenging as its companion piece"



Disagree. I think this is easily his most challenging work to date. Unless you're really well versed in Gagaku or something... Also, I want to hear an entire album of the last 2.5 minutes of this record.

Trophycase
May 17th 2019


1492 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Like I've listened to this a couple times now and still have absolutely no clue what to make of it.

JS19
May 17th 2019


7205 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Imagine thinking any non directly descriptive writing is pretentious

Digging: Dinosaur Pile-Up - Celebrity Mansions

FourthReich
May 17th 2019


3821 Comments


Yea i like the opening paragraph personally, this is def classic tim hecker probably a 3.6ish enjoyed it

DadKungFu
May 17th 2019


659 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@ trophycase, I've heard both opinions. Personally I'm not sure how this could be more challenging, especially since a lot of what comes out of Konoyo is so jarring compared to this. The parts with the taiko drums are the only really difficult passages to my ears.

Taxt
May 17th 2019


1317 Comments


Excited to hear this one, good review

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
May 22nd 2019


17196 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

this is good but I somehow feel as if it shouldn't reeeeeaaallly exist. not sure what it adds to his discography that Konoyo didn't--even though I know that's probably an unnecessarily programmatic way of looking at a body of work. but he's good at this shit. maybe more thoughts tk, I'll be happy to be proved wrong with further listens

NOTINTHEFACE
May 22nd 2019


1805 Comments


Idk I feel like I like this a lot better than this community seems to like it. I agree that its existence is a little superfluous out of the context of Konoyo, but as a companion to that album it's a wonderfully fleeting, engrossing experience. The recurring synth motif in tracks 2 and 6 is such a strong atmospheric hook for me, and the Japanese instrumentation serves as a much stronger anchor in this one. It doesn't have the titanic melodies of Konoyo but surely that's the idea.

At any rate, this duology is a classic in my book and I'll be listening to it for years.

Trophycase
May 23rd 2019


1492 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"not sure what it adds to his discography that Konoyo didn't"



eh this barely even sounds like Konoyo to me. Though it's a natural response to feel like this is somehow Konoyo B sides or whatever, since they are from the same sessions (I think?)



Still don't know what to make of this record. I don't want to say it's bad but I'm really not sure. Maybe bad isn't the right word, but it certainly challenges what I would consider "music"

Scoot
May 23rd 2019


19328 Comments


tim is dope

this just makes me want to listen to in the air on repeat for the millionth time

JS19
May 23rd 2019


7205 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

'but it certainly challenges what I would consider "music"'



Cmon man let's not be dramatic here

Trophycase
May 29th 2019


1492 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Starting to enjoy the second half of this, Not alone is great, those drums

CaptWaffles
May 31st 2019


206 Comments


Excellent review for an excellent album

TheBarber
June 2nd 2019


3770 Comments


Seing this performed live gave me a stendhal syndrome. I think this is my fav hecker now



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