Tim Hecker

Mirages

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At the height of their powers, white-noise godheads My Bloody Valentine would be known to leave their guitars alone on-stage at the end of a performance, feeding back for up to 30 minutes while the audience was left awash in the sound of static running on static. Imagining that effect not as an end, but as a beginning, Canadian Tim Hecker offers his third album of dark grey fog (his sixth album if you count his techno background as Jetone). Starting with "Acephale," Hecker takes control of the effluvial hiss and slowly melts it down, making it into clear angelic tones on "Neither More Nor Less," fluttering waves on "Celestina," and even rounded pulses on "Kaito." But like a gentle master, Hecker eventually breaks his smoke bubbles, allowing the gas to float free on the generously long closer, "Incurably Optimistic!" Yet low and behold, the vapors continue to hold the shapes in which they were once held, drifting not up and away, but moving in paths around an undeterminable axis until they finally disappear without the least bit of a whimper. But like matter, sound is a finite yet never depleting thing, transferring from electrical buzz to moving air to cerebral stimulation. Potential energy waiting, just waiting to go kinetic again.

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