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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 16 February 2011
Tim Hecker has never come across as a provocative man, but his new album title, cover art, and song titles makes it difficult not to try to read into any possible subtexts on his new album 'Ravedeath, 1972'. Personally, I think Hecker is just being mischievous. i don't think the album title has anything to do with the death of Rave, but perhaps a justification for its existence. The same applies to songs called 'Hatred of music', there is clearly no evidence of this on this wonderful album.

Ben Frost, who crafted the monumental 'By the Throat' album 2 years ago, lends his skills to this album. Hecker recorded the album in a church in Reykjavik, Iceland, where Frost now lives, over a few days of improvisation.

Upon pressing play, you soon realise that Ravedeath, 1972 is one aggressive, single-minded record. 'Piano drop' introduces you to the sound of Tim Hecker, coming from nowhere and dropping a huge slab of stuttering noise and bass. The albums highlights are 2 sets of triptych's, 'In the Fog I/II/III', 'In the Air I/II/III' and a diptych, 'Hatred of Music I and II'. 'In the fog' starts with jagged stabs of piano in what feels like a cavernous lump of dense and fluid space, your mind wanders as to the possibilities within this mass of space. 'In the fog II' gives way to a incessant pipe organ loop with shimmering washes of digital noise, if i heard this track at a rave i 'd be very happy! 'In the fog III' loosens up before huge shards of digital noise eat away at your ears, not as painful as it sounds! And just like a fog, it all eventually disappears, leaving behind a tranquil wash of music which ends the song, a beautiful end to a cracking triptych. 'Hatred of Music' is more contemplative, similar to the best of his previous album 'Harmony in Ultraviolet', ice-cold slices of continuous digital noise reverberate around you.

'Analog Paralysis' and 'Studio Suicide' follow, but are disappointments. They lack the flair of the previous tracks and ones to come. The best is left till last. 'In the Air I/II/III' brings Hecker back to prominence, a deft, more measured piece, starting and ending in a piano movement (which could have been played by Ben Frost). 'In the Air II' scorches everything in its path, waves upon waves of terrifying distortion, but the piano returns and you can still hear the winds of noise which eventually dissipates leaving the piano to complete the final movement.

Is it too crass to call his music Cathedral electronic music? Probably, but there is a devotional feel to his music on this album, and not just because of the church organ. This is Heckers most mature album, the last few albums were very much singular visions but this album seems to have more purpose and an introspection lacking in the last few releases. Like most albums within this genre of music, it sets the scene for your imagination to run away with you. Unless you have heard any of Heckers music before, his albums take time to digest, they certainly need a few plays to draw you into his world. Ravedeath, 1972 doesn't seem to need it, it has an immediacy and an innocence which is refreshing, similar to still my favourite Hecker album Radio Amor.

The use of the church organ is a real treat, especially since i normally cannot stand the sound of a church organ, i don't know why but i've never liked it! There is a warmth to the organ sound even though it has been heavily manipulated, it's inviting and non-judgemental. Ravedeath, 1972 is a very aggressive and noisy album, but ironically it sounds like the start of the middling years of Hecker output, and this is no insult. There is an intelligence, a knowledge and craft on this album which stand's Hecker apart from most musicians. Hecker says he makes music to preserve his sanity, something i can relate to when i'm painting. Previous albums involved a personal catharthis, Ravedeath, 1972 embodies a sense of clarity and liberation, isn't that the purpose of rave?
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on 30 October 2011
When Michael Mann makes his film about a space journey into a black hole, 'Ravedeath 1972' will be the soundtrack.

Beautiful, distorted, intense, throbbing, the music communicates a wistful vision of some spectacular and potentially awful unknown.

Probably best listened to on a clear cold night when you can see the stars and wonder why you're down here and they're up there.
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on 25 February 2016
A friend tipped me off about Hecker's work, and this is my first real encounter. A startling experience, dark and brooding and intense, electronica and no-doubt treated acoustic instruments. I'm sure it's about something I haven't quite worked out yet (almost certainly not the death of rave) and I look forward to piecing it all together over future listenings.

I haven't been this overwhelmed by a first encounter since an old vinyl copy of 'Lustmord' troubled my younger self, or maybe 'Locust Abortion Technician', or Tarwater's unexpectedly and wonderfully unsettling 'Rabbit Moon Revisited'. And it's good to be thrown a little by new music, so thumbs up fo' sure.

I've already ordered more by Tim Hecker so that's surely a recommendation. Not for the weak of heart, maybe, but this record is a magnificent example of what music can be once you've thrown away the rulebook.
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on 1 March 2013
the music is fantastic - but if you just want the music, buy the cd right? It's the packaging and record you're paying for. The records themselves are nowhere near 180g vinyl pressing, they're not particularly rugged or heavy.

Bummed about this, I expected better from Kranky
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on 26 June 2012
This is one of the outstanding records of the past few years: rich, rewarding, original.

Eno must wish he could make music like this.
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VINE VOICEon 22 May 2013
I could say that this is all about the electronic manipulation of a big organ in Iceland but that would be to mislead and possibly entice under false pretences. Suffice to say that both myself and (judging by his postings) Steven Wilson think this is the bees-knees. As Steven is a Prog God naturally his view should carry a tad more weight amongst the discerning public.

Is it a review to refer you to a review? Possibly not however this is an exceptional record, wax cylinder, CD, soundwave. Better reviewers than I have captured its essence and I refer you to the BBC One review (abridged above), Pitchfork and Drowned in Sound. I can't praise this highly enough - words fail.

I commend this CD to the House.
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on 9 October 2014
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