Tim Hecker – “Castrati Stack” (Singles Going Steady)

"Castrati Stack", the latest from electro-ambient artist Tim Hecker, is a sonic pool that merges many ideations of "stream" together.

Emmanuel Elone: Howling drones, noisy static, and harmonious female vocals make up the jagged, complex soundscape of “Castrati Stack”. None of these sounds are anything new to Hecker, but he manages once again to create beautiful compositions out of musical and ambient noise leftovers. It’s dark, cloudy and mysterious, just as all good ambient drone should be. [7/10]

Pryor Stroud: Cleaved into pieces by epochal shifts and contextual dismemberments, “stream” is now a word of manifold definitions that, despite its various uses, holds fast to several essential traits: forward motion, continuity, the capacity to carry — even impel — other substances along by the sheer insistence of its kinetic demands. “Castrati Stack”, the latest from electro-ambient artist Tim Hecker, is a sonic pool that merges many ideations of “stream” together. The gasps of feedback and stumbling synthesizer noises evoke an internet stream of some sordid, overshadowed snuff video cutting in and out, buffering and then reaching hi-def. Comparatively, the elongated choral washes seem to summon up streams of light refracted through stain glass; oddly, this light remains, pooling and seeping past itself, after the sun dips and everything else — outside, inside, above, below — has gone dark. Regardless of how you listen to it, the “stream” of “Castrati Stack” moves forward in the same way: in real-time, spontaneous and defiantly unbroken. [7/10]

Chad Miller: Beautifully ominous. Sounds similar to Grouper’s excellent Dragging a Dead Deer Up a Hill in that regard as well as the vocal technique. Wonderfully eerie. [8/10]

Jasper Bruce: This isn’t so much a song as a sonic moonscape; mysterious, dreamy and sparse. This is going to appeal to fans of ambient electronica, and it’s certainly evocative, but not necessarily easy to listen to or enjoyable for those who don’t identify as fans of that style. [5/10]

Chris Ingalls: Less a song with traditional structure and more of a sound collage, “Castrati Stack” is a veritable kitchen sink of notes, samples, chords, choral lines and swaths of distortion. The sound of someone with a studio at their disposal and a bunch of ideas that can only fit in a four-minute slot. A striking piece of music from someone who’s probably made a lot of music I’d like to hear more of. [7/10]

Tim Hecker’s new album, Love Streams, releases April 8th via 4AD Records.

SCORE: 6.80


04-07 Los Angeles, CA – Union

04-14 Brooklyn, NY – Warsaw

04-15 Chicago, IL – Empty Bottle

05-05 London, England – St John at Hackney Church

05-07 Krems, Austria – Donaufestival

05-09 Braga, Portugal – GNRation

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05-19-21 Durham, NC – Moogfest

06-11 Toronto, Ontario – Unsound Toronto at Luminato Festival