Review: Canadian sonic experimentalist Tim Hecker has long been a celebrated exponent of the ambient art form. Since the mid 1990s, he's released a series of acclaimed albums that blur the boundaries between art, music and experimentation, concocting stunning soundscapes through the use of simple melodies, dense, FX-laden instrumentation and alien chord sequences. On the oddly-titled "Ravedeath, 1972", he continues his one-man journey into the echo-laden heart of soundscape electronica. His compositions are at times quiet and fragile ("No Drums"), at others bold and queasily discordant (the two-part "Hatred Of Music"), but they're rarely less than breathlessly beautiful. The three-part "In The Air" is, in particular, quite stunning.
Review: Chicago-based experimentalists HIDE built their reputation on a handful of releases - including an inspired debut album - built around densely layered sound collages, intense rhythmic snapshots and manipulated electronic noise. On new album "Hell Is Here", the American duo has opted to pursue a slightly different sound, with intense, screamed and - in one bizarre instance - vomited vocals rising above distorted, brain-melting sub-bass, mangled percussion, Nine Inch Nails style guitars and unsettling redlined electronics. It makes for intense listening, but there's little doubt the pair has produced a thrilling piece of work that should find favour with all those of a punky, leftfield disposition.