♫♪  Tim Hecker - “Virginal II”

Lock the doors, break out the candelabrum, build a small tower out of Kleenex boxes but position each box’s open paper-dispensing mouth to face outward so you can reach out from any angle and conveniently procure something soft with which to dry your tears: we have new music from Tim Hecker. Since Ravedeath 1972, 2011’s triumph in holy drone abstraction, Hecker cooked up a set of time-bending improv sessions with Daniel Lopatin on Instrumental Tourist, performed a ludicrous number of high-profile festival-type gigs, and cemented his position as an experimental heavyweight capable of crossing over into the broader public consciousness to zone out even the most casual of zoners. His new full-length LP, Virgins, arrives on October 14. If there’s any justice in this universe, cumulonimbi will appear on horizon while we’re extinguishing the candle in silence after our first full listen and then float overhead to unleash a deluge all over our faces and upper bodies right when we leave our homes so no one can tell we’ve all been weeping.

But hit play on “Virginal II” down below, and you’ll notice something that could surprise you: there’s a lot going on here. If Ravedeath cast Hecker as an isolated, eminently solo artist, poring over his computer and/or an Icelandic church organ in pursuit of a static-infused vision of Pärt’s tintinnabulation, “Virginal II” falls closer to the busy minimalism of Reich’s or Glass’s large-ensemble works. Hear percussive piano loops overlap, phase out of time, and pound their way through the haze as Hecker’s gloriously spatialized droning voices, woodwind overdubs, and low-end pads creep into the proceedings. By the time the stuttering synth leads take over near the four-minute mark, Hecker has filled his mix with an expansive palette of tones both acoustic and electronic, resulting in a piece closer in atmosphere and arrangement to previous efforts like An Imaginary Country, though significantly broader in scope.

A limited-edition vinyl press of Virgins will go up for pre-order soon (but when??) from Paper Bag Records, while Kranky will handle the wide release and distribution.

• Tim Hecker: http://www.sunblind.net
• Paper Bag: http://paperbagrecords.com
• Kranky: http://www.kranky.net

Chocolate Grinder

CHOCOLATE GRINDER is our audio/visual section, with an emphasis on the lesser heard and lesser known. We aim to dig deep, but we’ll post any song or video we find interesting, big or small.

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