Tim Hecker "Virginal II"*Kranky *
There are few artists who can bend and twist audio like Tim Hecker can. On "Virginal II"—the first cut to surface from the man's forthcoming LP for Kranky—the Canadian producer begins with a series of stringed notes which hit with a percussive force, as if they were struck by a mallet or hammer. Hecker then folds this melodic clatter into sheets of crispy noise and stretched reverberations, seamlessly shifting the track into a more abstract audio realm and allowing the listener to become fully enveloped by the slow-shifting drones, pensively rising arpeggios, and gorgeous tonal collage which has been assembled. Still, the power of Hecker's work is not necessarily in the details, but instead in the overall feeling his compositions impart on the listeners; in the case of "Virginal II," we're left with a welcome sense of serenity. The rest of Hecker's upcoming Virgins LP (artwork above) is set to drop on October 14.