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Virgins

4.6 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

2013 release, the follow-up to the Electronic artist's Juno-awarded Ravedeath, 1972 album. Virgins was recorded during three periods in 2012, mostly in Reykjavik, Montreal and Seattle, using ensembles in live performance. The sound palette of this work is wider, almost 'percussive' and tighter sounding than previous works. While this album remains committed to a painterly form of musical abstraction, it's also a record of restrained composition recorded live primarily in intimate studio rooms, employing woodwinds, piano & synthesizers towards an effort at doing what digital music does not do naturally - making music that is out of time, out of tune & out of phase.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 14, 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Kranky
  • ASIN: B00E0KZG3M
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #120,999 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I've long been a fan of Tim Hecker. I am constantly amazed at his ability to create beautiful, majestic, sometimes a wee bit terrifying, soulful sound sculptures time and time again.
"Virgins" is yet another forward step along this path, and it ratchets up the intensity level somewhat, but never at the expense of
the "galaxies-colliding", panoramic majesty that he is known for. It is truly a journey that may not for everyone, but for those who
deign to take the plunge, it is temendously rewarding. Not even remotely "easy" listening, in the way that most people assume when referring to "ambient" music. It is, I suppose, ambient music, but of a particular sort. Truly special. Highly recommended.
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
Bursting collages of fuzz and feedback squelches, drips of busted electronic fizzles trickled over heaps of gutted and wrecked piano chords, discombobulated machinery torn open, spurting notes from tubed gashes, shocks of wattage humming from underneath twisted rubble ambiance, tangled wires writhing in showering sparks, whipping over delicate pools of circuitry reflecting a glowing rumble, while inconspicuously, the pulsating core transforms slowly into an unfathomable star flower. Hecker, is part scientist, part god in his deconstruction of melody, splicing its fundamental organic elements with inorganic material, building fragmented sequences of engineered chaos that are both breathtakingly stark and shockingly beautiful. Hecker imagines the disintegration of sound only so he can regenerate music as freely as possible, without definition or expectation, needing to be unencumbered by the world that once was thus facilitating an apocalypse in order to serve his experimentation. "Virgins" is Tim Hecker at his heaviest and most profound.
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Format: Audio CD
Tim Hecker's newest won't disappoint fans. As on his previous albums, one of the most enjoyable aspects is how noises are re-contextualized, as the melodies that emerge beneath give them new significance. This time around, though, the sounds are more diverse, featuring elegant woodwinds as well as cascading layers of feedback and distortion. A new feature is the focus on (somewhat) unprocessed piano, which adds an immediacy and organic quality which, when combined with distorted, ceiling-shaking bass tones, is reminiscent of Ben Frost's By the Throat ("Live Room"). At times unaccompanied, looping disjointedly, the effect of the piano can be disconcerting, or even jarring, as on the opening track. On "Virginal I", he slowly deconstructs the piano tones, taking them from starkly hammered keys to intermingling ambient traces. At other times, he emphasizes the clarity of the instrument, making it quite serene and beautiful as on the gorgeous, almost modern classical "Black Refraction."

Tim Hecker's albums could never really be faulted for lack of beauty, but it's great to see that he continues to evolve, expanding upon his successful formula while keeping intact his appreciation for moving melodies.
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By Damien on January 3, 2014
Format: Audio CD
Hecker has always been on top of his game from his first album. Although, he's recently moved into new territory with a very original, intense, powerful sound in Ravedeath and the Dropped Pianos EP. To be honest, as much as I like the other albums he's done, there's tons of those minimalistic glitchy ambient artists out there. With Ravedeath he pretty much put himself as a new important figure for this age of ambient music.

This takes off where the previous left us. Now that's not to say they're the same album. Yes, recurring sounds and instruments are here. The woodwinds and piano paint beautiful dark shades on the canvas Hecker hangs up for us. Ravedeath illustrated the sound of melancholy, loss, a grey haunted world fading to dust. Virgins could be taking place in just as dark of a scenario, but I feel like there's more hope, forgiveness and sanctuary here. All Hecker albums resemble bliss and beauty (whether sad or not), but this has fierce strength. There's an all out war going on in this. At times this gets quite noisy and loud.

For an album named Virgins, it's quite sensual in nature. Maybe the title is pushing that? When I mean sensual I don't mean full out orgy... No, much more of a virtuous romantic nature in a post-apocalyptic scenario. The ideas I get out of these sounds are bizarre, I know. I just feel like there's a whole cinematic story in all of this.

Yes, I downloaded the leak. That doesn't mean I haven't already pre-ordered the vinyl! Hecker, you definitely know the way to my heart. In fact, after listening to this I want to blast through his entire catalogue again, find anything I haven't heard before... Just feel like he could easily top into one of my favorite artists soon.
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Format: Vinyl Verified Purchase
Virgins is the first Tim Hecker album more focused on performance than process. Most of it was recorded with a small group of orchestral musicians affiliated with Bedroom Community, and its a record that grows on you in the subtlest and most intriguing way. I 'd given this album a listen or two, and as time passed, melodies logged in my head would surface, evoking the records' warm, inviting yet uncanny echoing sound, with instruments sounding like they're richocheting from every angle, evoking a cavernous hangar, reflecting a barely there tension that is nothing short of captivating, if that makes any sense...

Its very hard to describe that dynamics of this record, but its something that'll stick, fascinate, perhaps frustrate but always a rewarding to return to. Apart from Radio Amour, which in my opinion is Hecker's best, this record is a wonderful gem on its own and a welcome addition to the continual innovation in electronic music. And its just sounds good...
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