It seems almost inappropriate to listen to “Virginal II” without hearing the larger context of Tim Hecker’s upcoming album Virgins. The drone artist’s very best work, including 2006’s Harmony In Ultraviolet and 2011’s Ravedeath, 1972 plays out like journeys, with impeccable curation and tracking. Still it’s hard not to get excited by this new track, which comes right in the center of the new LP. Built around a haunting percussion loop (fairly new territory for Hecker) the song comes off like a light-filled take on some of Ben Frost’s pitch-black work (Frost, in fact, helped record Virgins) as the percussion eventually decays leaving only Hecker’s swirling clouds of sound. Like Hecker’s best work, it marries grotesque digital decay with something sublime and truly spiritual. Between this, the new Oneohtrix Point Never album, and rumors of a new Ben Frost record this is looking to be a massive couple months for experiment music fans. Listen below.
Virgins is out 10/14 on Kranky