Elegance and form
Canadian sound artist Tim Hecker’s new record Anoyo is an amazing, subdued soundscape full of experimental sounds met with Japanese gagaku (Japanese for elegant music). High class in artistry and an entitled sound, Hecker’s most recent project truly solidifies him as a veteran in the sonic world. Skilfully mixed and intuitively professional, the conceptual album exhibits a unique identity, independently following the artist’s preceding record Konoyo.
“That world” is the opening nine-minute long track. Cinematic synthesizers rise as kalimbas and orchestral percussion warm up. Hecker adds notifying bass notes amongst these Asian scratchy timbres, reaching production levels to that of Nicolas Jaar. The track is cool and its eccentricity minimalistic. “Is but a simulated blur” continues as overlapping stringed instruments play out. The mechanic percussion carefully placed over detuned synthesizers creates a warping of sounds to mimic a blur or passage of time through brilliant sound design.
“Step away from Konoyo” then leads into a deep and rich drone-like ambiance, almost like a William Basinski record. Hecker creates a strange relaxation when the melancholic, higher pitched synths slowly emerge. The track becomes watery and dreamy, and the frequencies of the synths reach notes that ring through the body and mind.
Hecker further captivates all senses in “Into the Void” a jazzy track with soft percussion and distorted synthesizers. He composes these high rising frequencies, and cautiously adds intense bass notes to provide movement within the song. “Not alone” continues with deep rumbling bass. The mechanical percussion in a previous track occurs once again, and the record feels as if it is slowly filling up the entire environment you play it in.
The last track “You never were” ends with Hecker’s cinematic tones and Asian timbres. Almost sounding like church music, glitchy distortions build up the song until he finishes with an electric piano melody.
Soundscape and ambient music are hard to get people interested in, yet Anoyo is different. Its elegance and minimalistic direction are unmatched, and Hecker adds another beautiful piece to his two-decade music career.