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Tim Hecker Love Streams 4AD

In a rather intrepid turn of phrase, Tim Hecker stated that Love Streams, his eighth studio full length and first to be released with famed indie label 4AD, is inspired by the idea of ‘a transcendental voice in the age of auto-tune’. Such self-appraisals are often conjured due to slogan-hungry PR culture – attempts to secure some kind of thematic infrastructure that offers obscure connections between disconnected songs. But this has never been the case for Hecker. Ever since 2011’s Ravedeath, 1971, his impressions of ambient drone and sobering post-techno minimalism have been deeply rooted in abstract thought.

Here, over eleven heavily processed tracks, we hear the Canadian-born sound artist emoting within a world of nihilist electronics. Voice Crack travels like the staggered filling of a download bar before losing transmission, endlessly knocking itself against a 404 Error screen. Bijie Dream and Obsidian Counterpoint patter between disarranged synth patterns, prickly ambient whirs and avant-classical orchestration. Revising blueprints from 15th century choral scores, traditional woodwind instruments have become dismembered, dehumanised and digitalised through endless software programming. Violet Monumental I and II further this artificial mangling, with sequenced vocals looping around strained harmonics and isolated clacking. There is not a single solitary moment where Hecker lacks ingenuity or blurs his intentions. Similar to 2013’s Virgins, it’s a heady decryption of computerised melancholia, a visionary decoding of primordial electronic weeping full of revelation and delicacy. So when Hecker alludes to Love Streams’ ‘transcendental voice…’ you can rest assured that he means every word of it.