I've been a big fan of Tim Hecker for some time now. Although his music has always had a very singular feel, he's managed to keep things interesting over a wide variety of different releases, from his massive deconstruction of 80s cock rock (My Love Is Rotten To The Core EP to his ruminations on life in the tropics (the amazing Radio Amor). Harmony In Ultraviolet is his newest effort, and his first for the Kranky label. It picks up where Mirages left off, but pushes even further into a power ambient, embracing destruction, static, and noise even more than previous efforts.
The first time that I listened to the release, I admit that it really didn't sink in. It was playing quietly in the background while I worked on some other things, and while there were moments that peeked out, it didn't push past background music. On second spin, I was able to play it with a little more volume, and that's where it really made a serious presence. After the short "Rainbow Blood" opens the album, "Stags, Aircraft, Kings & Secretaries" cracks things open as waves of rolling feedback and filtered electronic flutters slide across each other like glaciers. The track gets especially dense during the middle section before again collapsing into something slightly brighter at the end.
"Chimeras" is more melodic, pushing forth with what sounds like heavily filtered organs (with little fragments of sounds splintering off and falling away as it moves forward), while "Spring Heeled Jack Flies Tonight" might be one of the standouts on the entire release, blasting molten waves of overdriven noise alongside more lush pillows of sound and what may or may not be fractured bits of lost radio communications.
After the four part "Harmony In Blue," it's the closing section of the disc that's easily the most powerful. "Radio Spiricom" is another track that pushes into near drone metal as a dense maelstrom of white noise and filtered loops crackle and bow as if they're under enormous strain. The two-part "Whitecaps Of White Noise" brings some beautiful organ stabs into the mix for some sparkling chords, while the album closer of "Blood Rainbow" revisits the first track in heavier ways. The fifteen tracks and fifty minutes of Harmony In Ultraviolet are easily Hecker's most heavy work to date. The whole album moves with a sort of barely-contained violence that threatens to disintegrate or burst tracks into flame outs at nearly any point. It's powerful and intense ambient music that really doesn't sound like anything else being created right now.