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Tim Hecker review – punishingly loud and rarely enveloping | Musique Non Stop

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Friday, May 6, 2016

Tim Hecker review – punishingly loud and rarely enveloping

St John at Hackney, London
Hecker’s experimental noise art, inspired by Renaissance masses, is not helped by an absence of spectacle and focus as he shrouds the venue in darkness

For a hotly tipped band with plenty of airplay, filling this 1,400-capacity converted church would be an impressive career marker. For an experimental noise artist, whose music shuns rhythm or melody in favour of dense crests of sound, it’s quite the feat; cheering evidence that audiences are prepared to wander ever further out of their comfort zones in search of enlightenment.

Hecker’s music, inspired by Renaissance masses, certainly purports to offer a contemplation of the divine in the way that more conventional forms do not. By shrouding the venue in darkness and pumping it full of dry ice, he sets the conditions for a transformative ritual. But unlike, say, Sunn O))), there is no sense of spectacle to accompany the noise assault. The darkness is presumably intended to focus your attention on the music, but the lack of identifiable human contribution is glaring.

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by Sam Richards via Electronic music | The Guardian