Sunday, 22 January 2012

The 2kDozen 500: #30 - Tim Hecker, "Ravedeath, 1972"

That is one winning title right there.

I got this recommendation from the Boomkat Albums of 2011 list. I'm sorry that Pelicanneck Records no longer exists in the Northern Quarter: it was one of my favourite record stores of all time. And another of my favourite record shops is also disappearing at some point in the next few months - the magnificent Cob Records in Lower Bangor. Many of my cassette albums from the early Nineties still bear the mark of excellence, a yellow Cob Records sticky label. Depressing, depressing. But then I will insist on listening to music on Spotify - so my poverty isn't helping much.

My lazy imagination makes the association between Tim being from Canada and the music representing a snowstorm of sound, a beautiful blizzard. Furthermore, big echoing organs get me thinking of cathedrals. (Honestly, it's a wonder I have the imagination to remember the names of the days at the end of the week.)

I'm watching the United Arsenal game on a dodgy Premier League site and Hecker's music is lending the game quite an elegaic tone. Like Oneohtrix last week, the repetition and the echo give me ideas about the brain trying to listen to itself, breaking down tiny pieces of information and looping them over and over until they make a form of sense, some kind of pattern. The same way as we run our mistakes over and over in our heads to rehearse what we could do right next time. Or when life flashes before the eyes. Maybe that's why I'm consistently put in mind of death.

Alongside the pipe organ on "In The Fog III" smaller, less distinct noises act as tiny fanfares, eddying about in the strong currents that pull the music along. These sounds have been tortured, and yet sound so joyous. "Analog Paralysis, 1978" includes a bit of random-fingered guitar strumming to add to the swirl. "Studio Suicide, 1980" is so filmic and dense and massive, it could punch holes through the Scorcese/Jodorowsky cinematic continuum, each pulling in the minds of a thousand doomed late-late-adolescents like myself as they stare out the window at nothing in particular. Then the album closes with "In The Air", an unexpected cover of the Phil Collins' kitchen sink classic. (No, it doesn't. It doesn't do that.)

My God, but there's some delicious hiss and noise on this album.

Rating: Joy out of Blizzard

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