Is this Tim Hecker hitting his droves of devotees with an album of distortion-less drones? The thought does seem mildly unsettling; like Brucey ditching his crowd-wooing catchphrases or Ryan Gosling brashly filling all those mysteriously alluring pauses. Fortunately, the Canadian’s latest record – which owes a debt to the New York Downtown scene of the 1960s – is a defining point for the critically-lauded ambient maestro, not least because his transformation sees him manage to take on the complexities of minimal music’s pioneers without comprising any of his loud and brooding back catalogue.

Although you wouldn’t detect his change of spots on opener ‘Prism’, which is as brazen as anything in his arsenal, a sonic blast that climbs ominously in the same way long-term collaborator Oneohtrix Point Never did so frequently on 2011’s ‘Replica’. However, the lighter, piano-centric moments (‘Virginal I’, ‘Live Room’, ‘Virginal II’) that inhabit large parts of ‘Ravedeath, 1972’’s follow-up are the real lure. Here, he shows a Philip Glass-like eye for a poignant hook, before looping it disjointedly towards a gloriously affecting climax that can’t fail to resonate.


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