Anoyo is the companion piece to Konoyo, Tim Hecker's 2018 full-length recorded with members of gagaku ensemble Tokyo Gakuso. Taken from the same sessions, the short album inhabits the same territory, pitting sparse arrangements of traditional instruments against wafting synthesizer drones and manipulated electronics. On pieces such as the nine-minute opener "That World," there's more of a contrast, as heavily twisted tape effects are wrapped around a billowing choir of flutes, producing an odd but invigorating sensation of weightless thrashing. A bit more familiar is the calm, reflective synth glow of "Step Away from Konoyo." This segues into phantom-like "Into the Void," which begins with subtle glitches, later emerging as a sort of duet between forlorn synth notes and delicate yet determined string plucks. Following the accelerating drum tension of "Not Alone," "You Never Were" begins with more sparse yet jarring string thwacks, eventually overtaken by a measured squall of corrupt, festering static. The piece ends up at a sort of resolution, with a loose sequence of overlapping keyboard chords. Compared to the astonishing Konoyo, Anoyo does feel a bit like less focused variations on the same ideas, but as it stands, it's still an intriguing, otherworldly blend of ancient instrumentation and technological exploration.
AllMusic Review by Paul Simpson