Tim Hecker – Norberg, Sweden – CD – Room 40

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www.room40.org

Following on from a series of stunning live performances recently,  Canadian sound artist, Tim Hecker presents us a with a 21 minute distillation of work from the Norberg festival in Sweden.  For me, Hecker’s music sounds like the aural equivalent of a Stan Brackhage art film, as he re-works and dramatically transforms the fundamental fabric and texture of the originating sounds, employing disorder and error as forms of expression.  Norberg, Sweden is a heavily overdriven slab of sound, a super-granulated textural work, that typifies Hecker’s work of late.

Melody, depth and transparency are themes to be teased out, unwrapped or briefly spied here. Hecker appears to be gradually approaching an essentialism which, although made up of a relatively limited number of parts, actively refuses reductivism.  The experience of listening to this piece might be compared to the act of viewing from a distance a series of Monet’s weather and light studies (the Haystacks, the Poplars or Rouen Cathedral). The longer the gaze is maintained, the more the colours vibrate and the forms shimmer between abstraction and figuration. The lack of any form of overt rhythmic instrumentation further underlines this impression, causing the music to float like a mirage or apparition. As we near the grand finale of the piece, any form of musicality evaporates into pure digital noughts and ones, as Hecker’s sampler gets trapped in an endless gated loop.  A brief, but extremely enlightening glimpse into the world of a truly profound sound artist..Room 40 have done it again. Brilliant. BGN

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About whiteline1

WHITE_LINE was set up three years ago, in order to play and promote the work of artists and musicians working under the banner of "minimalism", in all its many guises. This has led to a regular and highly successful mix slot on the Garden of Earthly Delights radio show in the UK, and guest appearances on Resonance FM (frequenzen show). We now aim to extend the remit of the mix slots by reviewing (as often as possible) material that encapsulates and crystallises the minimalist ethic, and hopefully we'll be leading artists and audiences alike towards a deeper appreciation of this and other marginalised genres. I welcome your comments, and criticisms, and would love to hear from labels and artists who would like their work showcased on the show, or reviewed here. We regret that due to time constraints, we cannot review everything that is sent to us, but will endeavour to give exceptional work an "honourable mention" at the very least, and links to quality sites that we think worthy of mentioning. I am trying to support labels and artists as much as possible by promoting their work, not least because I am a stereotypical "struggling artist" myself, but also because there are so few younger artists entering this particular scene, and there is a danger of it becoming the sole domain of a handful of forty somethings who really ought to be doing something better with their time! Having worked for most of the more reputable underground magazines in the early 90's, I was never afforded the luxury of taking time and care over reviews, as deadlines and column space were always hanging like the sword of Damocles over me. With WHITE_LINE, I have the luxury of being able to review when I have time, and I am receptive to a particular mood, and hopefully this will reflect in the quality and length of some of the reviews. If you like what you see, please link to me to encourage more traffic through the site, and cross promote whatever is happening out there. Address for promotional material: 45 Drovers Walk Spring Park, Kingsthorpe Northampton NN2 8BB UK

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