In Death Valley
Is a Rose Petal of the Dying Crimson Light
In Mother Earth Phase
A Sodium Codec Haze
Across to Anoyo
After the density of 2016’s Love Streams, an album of sandblasted ambient that he frequently performed from inside a thick, luminous fog, Montreal composer Tim Hecker burns off the murk to reveal a work of grace. Recorded in Japan alongside Tokyo Gakuso—a traditional gagaku classical ensemble—Konoyo wavers unstably between the acoustic and the electronic realms as Hecker turns his colleagues’ strings and woodwinds into digital mulch before gradually returning them to their fluid, original forms. He can be brutally abstract: “Keyed out” creaks like a screen door twisting on its hinges in high winds, while “In mother earth phase” layers faintly dissonant drones into shuddering configurations. But even the elastic buzz of a track like “This life” is distinguished by its restraint.