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Tim Hecker - Radio Amor

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Artist: Tim Hecker

Album: Radio Amor

Label: Mille Plateaux

Review date: Jun. 11, 2003

It Glows In the Dark

Radio Amor is a kickshaw of splendid beauty. I’m not sure how to run that down for you without making Tim Hecker sound like Mike Oldfield for the Aughties. So let’s just say I got a greater sentimental rush from these electro-curlicues that I have from anything else this year, maybe any electronic disc I’ve known. Now, on to other things.

It ain’t a stretch to say Radio Amor doesn’t compare to anything else currently on the market. Hecker’s flickering spirals may, at times, loosely echo the more reflective side of Oval, but take a more direct route to the cortex.

You're hit, left with green dots in your field of vision and a mouth full of mixed metaphors. You're hit, and it felt like a kiss.

You can wrestle with this music intellectually, and it’ll show you a few new hooks every time, but it maintains its integrity when you turn your head away. It may even take on greater power. Let it blend into the background and it’ll sneak attack your senses. Not in an irritating way.

Hecker lays out his primary themes in the cavernous sighs of “(They Call Me) Jimmy” and the rolls and blinks of “I’m Transmitting Tonight.” Therein lie Radio Amor’s pressure points. These themes reemerge at odd intervals through the haze that blankets the rest of the cycle. The rest is, at first listen, a slow-shifting mix of steely headrush and protracted Morse Code dispatches from the bottom of the ocean. It sometimes retreats into near silence, only to fuck with you that much more upon reemerging. I’ve already spun the thing dozens of times. With each encounter, it’s tendered new secrets, slices of information that I’d cheapen by attempted explanation. I wanted to get out of this sort of drug talk, and yet, here we are.

Intimacy is shy. It has a way of rendering you a stammering tool when you kiss and tell.

Were there enough hours in my day, I’d map Radio Amor out second by second and break down, in mathematical functions, how much of what is where and why. I’d draw order out of this seeming chaos, ’cause I know it’s there. I’m sure there are patterns in Hecker’s music I simply lack the wherewithal to coax forward. I’d love to crack all of the album’s codes. Alas, there are not enough hours in my day. But Radio Amor is so pretty that it makes me long for that sort of obsession. It’s certainly more than worthy.

By Emerson Dameron

Other Reviews of Tim Hecker

My Love is Rotten to the Core

Harmony In Ultraviolet

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Find out more about Mille Plateaux

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