Cyclopean Metrical Consistency

Jetone is a Montreal-based musician whose parents know him as Tim Hecker. Ultramarin (Force Inc.) is 12 tracks of cyclopean metrical consistency, dependable as a Timex but considerably more intense. Slight variations in tone are the result of either painstaking effort on Hecker’s part, or your brain’s attempt to make peace with the existential dread. Either way, this is a bracing listening experience, Information Age music that seems to still be caught up in the anxieties of the Industrial Revolution. The track “Octan” layers arrhythmic static atop the perambulating beats, which leaves the listener wondering which is more threatening: routine or divergence from the routine. “Phoedra II” opens with what sounds like an exasperatingly minute guitar riff — exasperating precisely because the tension, small as it is, never releases. Like much Force Inc. music, a lot of Jetone’s work is techno heard from a distance, retaining all of the throb and none of the sheen. But other tracks, like “Only Then,” with its suffocating ambience, refute such careless categorization. Highly recommended.

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