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LITERATURE

 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
Tim Hecker
Mirages
Alien8 Recordings

Rating: 7/10 ?


May 16, 2005
Tim Hecker's firstborn creation was an homage to the snow-scalloped, frosty plains of the Canadian cold. His subsequent hatchling, meanwhile, took as its fulcrum the seasick clatter and flush skies that inhabit the crusty eyes of the bobbling sea-fisherman. At this present point, Hecker adopts the bawl of the factory assembly line as his modus operandi. Such a particular, concrete approach to sound-sculpting has served Hecker well; his efforts have drawn him as a focal artist alongside Fennesz, Oren Ambarchi and Stephan Mathieu. Hecker consistently crafts eminent works that encourage both cerebral and emotional involvement.

Mirages marks a continuation of the spluttering, granular debris of noise that maligned much of Haunt Me, Haunt Me, Do it Again, but, as one might imagine, the sound presentation has less to do with winter wonder and more in the way of the dim decay fostered by the mechanical, menial tasks carried about in oil-strewn factories.

Indeed, this performing of nonsensical acts is a most repugnant punishment, since it preserves a person in its pure facility, but forbids it all legitimization. It is in this brew of harbored brooding - the sort that stems from such forms of imprisonment, found when one empties and fills a ditch indefinitely or when a schoolboy is forced to copy lines - that Mirages so expertly excavates ancient artifacts lodged in the congested soil of these sounds.

Many moments are imbued with viscous atmospheres and metallic sonorities, all of which harken back to Shuttle 358 and Sogar, but such meditative passages are often undercut by blasts of machine-noise percussion and buzzsaw-sharp frequency oscillations. When Hecker is inclined to let his compositions breathe - as in the lovely "Neither More Nor less", when a bristling piano flutters in cyclical patterns as the stars in Van Gogh's Starry Night - the results are altogether becoming. Generally, compositions abide by this pattern, shifting from construed layers of squealing metal to less dense moments of field recordings, delayed and filtered organ tones, punctuations of soft-spoken, rhythmic montages and three-note piano motifs, which act as a recuperating device, reappearing throughout.

Though only fifty minutes in length, the latter half of the work does tend to grow sluggish as a result of redundancy. Compositions are continually enveloping and heavy, so much that the steady succession of sounds, with nary a breather in sight, exhaustion results. That being said, the final sight of "Incurably Optimistic!" looks down upon rivers, spooling tonal effects and galloping winds of resonant guitar, revealing an order and view that makes the travels worthwhile. This work beguiles by way of biotic sounds and the ultra-modern generations of electronic events, all of which contribute to build legitimacy around this acutely-crafted work of art.

Reviewed by Max Schaefer
Nocturnal qualms and eyes that brim like lamps betoken slender sketches, poetry and short stories strewn alongside piano playing, a fiddling of knobs and murmured dialogue with a medley of electronic gizmo\'s. A twenty-one year old person lodged within the University of Victoria, Max harvests organic sounds on a sullen sampler, watching water unwind like two broad lengths of ribbon and nursing a book below the canopy of a cheery-tree. Max believes that the world is made present by people\'s presence in it and that art is one such way in which a distinctive disclosure might be crafted.

See other reviews by Max Schaefer

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