Ravedeath, 1972 / Dropped Pianos
(This blurb was first published on No Ripcord...)
It’s easy to see the favoritism playing out between consumers and entertainment technology these days. High-definition televisions and three-dimensional movie theatres have quickly become universal quality standards whereas, in the same breath, lousily ripped mp3s and torrents have become the musical norm. The record industry is in a state of collapse – sure, we all know that – but so is the value of music as art.
No album points this out as hypnotically as Ravedeath, 1972. Using a two-day church organ session as foundation, Tim Hecker took these twelve compositions to dust, disassembling their solemn appeal (available on the companion release Dropped Pianos) and battering them with serrated, digital fuzz. Despite such a minimal palette, what blossoms from Hecker’s decay is nothing short of earthshaking; a darkly persuasive tapestry of abused sounds rising for redemption.
Of course, all of the loose music-versus-culture theory stirred up by Hecker’s approach would mean nothing without his melodic spare parts assembling into something compelling. And luckily for us, Ravedeath, 1972’s conflicted heart is downright intoxicating.