Tim Hecker Mirages

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me. But they almost hurt Tim Hecker. After reading the egotistical press release for Hecker’s Mirages I was so ready to hate the album, but by the half-way point my skepticism had been bought off by wary washes of sound and other flowing tones that sounded not unlike the tires of the cars driving by on the wet street outside my window. By using rigid, distorted and drawn out sounds combined with gentle and slight swellings and sprinklings of less-distorted tones he creates a complete atmosphere, where relaxation meets disease but is not overcome by it. Although sold on the bravado of the release I wasn’t ready to discard it quite yet. Comments saying the album is meant to be "a salvo against all tourists of melancholy, from trustafarian pseudo-leftists” and the like, in part by disregarding "‘organic’ solutions to electronic music,” made me think the album is also a forceful commentary against the standard economy of the music industry, which includes acceptance of mediocrity and rip-off artistry. Although void of scrub-pad abrasive guitars and hyper-fast scream-y lyrics, could this truly be the new punk rock, based on the commonality that punk was originally an expression of severe discontent with social and musical environments? Whatever it is, there is depth to this album, there are ghosts, and there is beauty. It is gentle, sad, and encourages pensiveness, especially since it has been recorded and mixed to sound like headphone listening even through my speakers. While not an everyday listen, it is a substantial piece of audio artistry. (Alien8)