Reconvening in Reykjavík with Virgins collaborators Ben Frost, Kara-Lis Coverdale and Grímur Helgason, Los Angeles and Montreal-based soundscapist Tim Hecker has enhanced and expanded the palette employed on that record, incorporating swaths of atomized human vocal matter into Love Streams, his latest, and first outing for the 4AD imprint.
The artist began by re-interpreting snippets of the works of 15th century composer Josquin des Prez via the Melodyne software package, which were then scored by Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson and performed by the Icelandic Choir Ensemble. The voices were sewn into a bright motley of keyboards and woodwinds that shimmers with an intensity as bright as the violet, blue and white hues of the album's cover art.
The uncanny, fog-like double-take that is "Violet Monumental" acts as the heart of Love Streams, showcasing Hecker's newest trajectory and acting as a launch pad for the more classical-leaning (albeit piped through a scrambling device) pieces such as "Voice Crack" or "Obsidian Counterpoint." The droning, static-fuelled "Castrati Stack" may be the most Hecker-like of the compositions found herein, yet it too is festooned with an ornate choral glow. With each successive album as a composer and drone-smith, Hecker stretches to greater heights. If Ravedeath, 1972 and Virgins were pinnacles for the producer, Love Streams leaps into orbit, beaming elegiac streams of sound to the heavens and beyond. (Paper Bag)