For most of this decade, Tim Hecker has been tinkering with his established sound. 2011’s Ravedeath, 1972 illustrated a much more textured and expansive release, with celestial production endlessly escalating. 2013’s Virgins furthered the noisiness and claustrophobia with rattling percussion vibrating inside tombs of sound. And with Love Streams, Hecker seems to be attempting to fine-tune the elements that made his 2010’s effort so immaculate.
“Black Phase”, the final and longest song found on Love Streams, is the kind of coda that couldn’t belong to anyone else. Broad organs rumble, surrounded by the wispy synths that collapse into each other, while the choir symphonically commands attention. This isn’t the loudest song Tim Hecker has produced, nor is it the prettiest, but it’s the composition of something that feels strangely more alive. The circulating air interlocks with the synths, while the density of the synths pulses with a heavy demeanor. The spiritual entity that is “Black Phase” is comprised of cacophony and vivacity, something entirely new to fans of Tim Hecker, and is something that brightly illuminates the dark spaces he’s dwelled in for so long.
– T. Pennington