Tag Archives: Tim Hecker

The Best New Ambient on Bandcamp: May 2019


A quick browse through the Bandcamp ambient tag will reveal any number of ambient works from composers unified in their artistry through atmosphere, but with wildly differing approaches to how they achieve their goals. From the intimate and warm to the unsettling and tense, ambient is a diverse and endlessly thought-provoking genre. Every month, Ari Delaney will walk through the best recent releases you can find right here on Bandcamp.

In this edition, we’re highlighting albums released from April 15 through  May 15, including albums that take stylistic inspiration from trance and lo-fi rock, and the newest from genre veteran Tim Hecker.

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The Best Albums of 2018: #40 – 21

best of 2018 40-21Let’s be honest for a second: No one clicks on these lists for the introduction. I don’t blame them! This is usually just the place where some routine throat-clearing goes, before we get to the main event. It’s also the place where I confess to the amount of anxiety involved with putting together a list like this—last year, I said, “Right now, there’s probably someone in their bedroom in Buenos Aires, making a record on their computer that is going to end up on next year’s list. So as comprehensive as we’ve tried to make this list, we realize that, even at 100 albums, we’re only scratching the surface of what’s available.” Guess what? That’s still true in 2018. That said, the albums that made the cut, to us, represent the breadth and scope of the many worlds available to discover on Bandcamp, and feel like the best musical summation of the last 12 months. When we make this list, we’re not only trying to assess the year’s best music, we’re also trying to tell the story of 2018, album by album, song by song. As always, being a part of Bandcamp Daily in 2018 was a true joy; we took a look at Extratone, the world’s fastest musical genre, got familiar with the New Face of Death Metal, and spent time with artists like Yugen Blakrok, Suzanne Ciani, and Kamaal Williams. Once again, the world of music is bigger than any one list can possibly contain, so consider this a starting point on the neverending journey to discovering new sounds, new scenes, and new voices. Alright, that’s enough throat-clearing. Let’s get to the list.

—J. Edward Keyes, Editorial Director

Best of 2018 Schedule:
December 10: #100 – 81
December 11: #80 – 61
December 12: #60 – 41
December 13: #40 – 21
December 14: #20 – 1

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Kranky Celebrates 25 Years of Independence—and Patient Listening


What does it take for an independent record label to survive for a quarter-century? Joel Leoschke, the co-founder of independent stalwart Kranky, has the answer. “Well, a lot of work, of course,” he observes, “but also stubbornness, and a refusal to be sidelined or distracted from the core job of disseminating and promoting sounds we feel deserve wider attention.”

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Album of the Day: Various Artists, “Timber Remixed”

Michael Gordon’s 2011 recording Timber was a transfixing masterwork played on unusual instruments: six wooden 2x4s—the kind you’d buy at a lumber store—each cut to different lengths in order to summon different pitches. For Timber Remixed, the means of music-making have been expanded greatly, thanks to the range of remixers, but the woody simplicity is never lost.

Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson (the man recently tapped to score the forthcoming Blade Runner 2) opens with a meditative take featuring the reverb-intensive sounds of the planks (which are amplified) mixed with a warmly seething organ that asserts itself but never gets in the way. Ambient maestro Tim Hecker turns in a highly detailed mix that hones in on each of the many manic mallet strikes, and spins them around to create broadened soundscape. The remix by Fennesz introduces some of his dreamy, disruptive digital fizz, while Oneohtrix Point Never adds elements of piano, strings, and insectoid electronics.

The stylistic range is more varied than might be expected, from rhythmic noise (via Greg Saunier, drummer of the art-prog band Deerhoof) to delay-effect fantasias (Ian Williams of Battles) to an appealingly inappropriate piece featuring acoustic guitar (the rarely-not-eccentric Squarepusher). From a piece of music made to explore the surprising resonant qualities of wood, many branches grow.

Andy Battaglia