(Sevens, a recurring feature on Aquarium Drunkard, pays tribute to the art of the individual song.)

virgins“Live Room” sits like an elephant on the hardy chest that is Virgins, Tim Hecker’s latest and perhaps most breathtaking accomplishment. Positioned between the appropriately ethereal “Radiance” and the long exhale of “Live Room Out,” this battle pitched between a pair of glows isn’t a composition so much as it is a conjuring. A conjuring of what, though, I couldn’t quite tell you. The song handily resists any attempt to attach some kind of external narrative to it; its sounds are about its sounds, and not about anything else. Still, the emotional power is overwhelming, almost blinding. Witness the neurotic piano line panicking across the stage as a redlining drum pad fills the room like a gas leak. A flick of clamped high-hat ignites that ball of sound, and it bursts into a kind of chemical aurora borealis. And when it finally settles, dissipating into something moldy and weirdly physical, and it pulses with the gentle composure of something at peace with taking its last breaths, take note that you’ve just had your heart broken by something you only barely understand. words/ m garner

Tim Hecker :: Live Room

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