Tim Hecker & Daniel Lopatin
Dec 19, 2012 Web Exclusive
There probably aren't two electronic artists making music right now who fit together better than Daniel Lopatin (Oneohtrix Point Never, Ford & Lopatin) and Tim Hecker. On their solo albums, both men have made art out of surprising and sometimes uncomfortable reimaginings of ambient, drone, and trip-hop, albeit in different ways. Hecker's work is generated with vintage keyboards and creates a sort of "sonic decay," while Lopatin's output as Oneohtrix Point Never focuses more on repeating melodies and the interruptions of those melodies.
On Instrumental Tourist, these two artists' collaborations are so good and so logical that it seems impossible that they haven't worked together before now. Hecker's fuzzed-out decay takes center stage on the title track, but Lopatin's discordant, nearly free-jazz keyboard stylings make up the bulk of "GRM I" and GRM II." On pieces like "Racist Drone" and "Instrusions," the musical marriage is a bit more pronounced—influences of both artists' previous work creep in to create a wonderful feel and atmosphere.
Instrumental Tourist is certainly a towering ambient/drone work, but it's not meant to be played in the background, like much of the genre's output. Rather, Lopatin and Hecker expertly foil the listener's expectations at every turn, creating a unique atmosphere of simultaneous dread and calm. This is music that needs to be felt rather than simply heard. (www.mexicansummer.com)
Author rating: 7.5/10
Average reader rating: 5/10