Anoyo

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Anoyo

Tim Hecker’s tenth Anoyo album sees him moving into calmer, more organic sounding territory. Miles apart from the icy electronica of Love Streams or the swirling intense minimalism of Ravedeath, 1972. And even though this album is drawn from the same sessions as his last album Konoyo (recorded with members of a Japanese classical ensemble called Tokyo Gakuso), it's quite different to that too. Presumably these are the tracks that didn't fit with the particular feel of that record which seemed far more direct, or "in your face". But just because this album seems (relatively) more placid, with more of a focus on traditional instruments, it doesn't mean it's always easy going. The record owes a debt to free jazz and ambient improvisation, there's certainly nothing quite as accessible as some of the tracks from Love Streams for example.

"That world" starts of relatively calm but gradually whips up a nightmarish din during its nine minute run time. "Is but a simulated blur" mixes natural percussion (with and unnatural sounding rhythm pattern) and old school synthesizers to create something much more disorientating (and thankfully much shorter than the previous track). Compositions like "Step away from Konoyo" and "Into the void" sound more hopeful and serene, like soundtrack recordings for low budget Sci-fi flicks. The album closes with the absolutely stunning "You never were", a fulfilling eight and a half minutes of classical/electro fuzz that segues into a unexpected and beautiful organ riff, proving once again that Hecker also has the pop chops when he's prepared to use them (this one sounds a bit like something from Songs In The Key Of Life). 

It's only after listening to Anoyo a few times that it becomes clear that it's quite a symmetrical record. Book ended by two sprawling elongated tracks (1 and 6), with two ambient, compositions as a centre point and the more avant garde percussion based numbers sitting in between at tracks 2 and 5. So, despite the fact that this is essentially a "leftovers" album, there's a clear and distinct flow to it. This is a compelling, at times alienating, new chapter in the Hecker library, which was thankfully not left on the cutting room floor.

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