Tim Hecker – An Imaginary Country (2009)

03.30.2009

i’ve been meaning to post this album for weeks now. the problem is that every time i want to write about it, i end up putting it on and getting lost in it instead. but i really want to share this with you guys, as it has made a bigger emotional impact on me than any album released in 2009 so far.

on his latest, the montreal based ambient electronic composer gives us an utterly breathtaking 48 minute tour through his ‘imaginary country’. the crag-like, ascending stabs of opener ‘100 Years Ago’ hook the listener instantly, pulling you in a twisting portal before depositing you above the ‘sea of pulses’, where throbbing low end currents flow underneath the calm, yet ominous rolling noise on the surface.  soon, you’ll find yourself approaching the ‘inner shore’, where faint glimmers begin to appear on the horizon as the currents and ebbing tide slip behind you. after exploring the murky abstract of ‘pond life’, the ‘borderlands’ greet you with scattered, distant piano notes that bring to mind mountaintop clouds.

interlude ‘utropics’ is the only segment that hints at any form of human intrusion on this pristine landscape, with an amorphous choir calling out from behind the electronic mist. meanwhile, a visit to the ‘currents of electrostasy’ leaves you unsure wether hecker’s electronics are shimmering and twinkling with beauty or quaking and quivering with a feeling more ominous. the penultimate ‘where shadows make shadows’ is a grandiose piece of abstract sound, combining many of the textures found throughout the country into a final thesis statement that envelopes the listener for over eight and a half minutes, before ‘200 Years Ago’ closes out your journey.

those who know me in real life know that i am somewhat of a geography junkie. maybe that is way i instantly fell in love with hecker’s ability to accurately transcribe such vast spaces and features into mountains, valleys, plains and rivers of gorgeous electronic sounds. ‘soundscapes’ don’t even begin to describe what hecker does here; it would be better described as a veritable sonic atlas. while hecker guides you along and points out the various features of this land through the song titles, the view itself is left entirely up to the listener. after a few listens, you’ll find that you’ve created your own ‘imaginary country’ that rolls and rises and falls and flows over miles and miles along with hecker’s music.

tim hecker’s ‘an imaginary country’ is a truly adventurous, epic, and stunning portrait of electronic music in 2009. don’t worry, you won’t need a map.

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4 Responses to “Tim Hecker – An Imaginary Country (2009)”

  1. &rew Says:

    thank you!

    I’ve been meaning to grab this album for a while now. always loved hecker’s stuff

  2. Brian S Says:

    About time. This is defintiley his best work and probs the best yet of 2009


  3. you write well, cousin.

    I haven’t dared click on the music links yet– I suspect they will make me feel very old…

    (I’m logged on by my blogname – so I’d better sign off…)

    Kimberly

  4. pensum Says:

    definitely Hecker’s best effort this. thanks!


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