Tim Held – TypicalHaunts (Spin Cycle)
15 January 2015
Seattle D.I.Y. artist and producer, Tim Held, releases his new album. Louder Than War’s Paul Scott-Bates reviews.
It’s hard to believe that it’s really been a year since the release of Tim Held’s last long playing effort, the dystopian landscape realism of Alb(L)um. The loneliness of this record created a stunning backdrop of a journey along an isolated virtual freeway township and this new album almost sees that community grow and thrive in the modern age.
Less atmospheric than 2014’s attempt, TypicalHaunts still manages to enthuse a feeling of warmth and wanting with its often crunching beats and looped melodies. For example, Diagnosis repeats an infectious bass line that embeds itself into your inner conscience and album opener (the aptly named), Birth, maybe starts where Alb(L)um left off.
Perhaps the key to Held’s successful projections is in his complete open-mindedness to his art. No boundaries, no agenda, just tracks which are often simple but equally as effective when layered like the hypnotic Doom, allow his talent to shine through like a crack of sun in a cloud covered sky.
At just over 33 minutes the ten tracks deliver the promise that is now surely expected of Held as he becomes a force majeure in today’s ambient/experimental scene to the sound of a synthesized heartbeat which fades out on Realization.
Sentimental dares to involve a moon stomp dance beat in amongst its blips and bleeps and is perhaps akin to the sound of VCMG on their Ssss collaboration, and Disengagement does exactly what it claims as it blends several effects and moods effortlessly over a recurring hook.
Closing with the two tracks, Rebirth and Afterbirth, it is clear that Tim Held is a man with a mission. A mission to create incredible soundscapes that really do take the listener on a journey around their minds, their souls, wherever. As Rebirth distorts and morphs into the album’s denouement so another accomplished album closes.
Held sets the bar high for 2015 with an album which may well be an early contender for those Best Of lists.
All words by Paul Scott-Bates. More of Paul’s writing on Louder Than War can be found at his author’s archive. Paul’s website is hiapop Blog and you can follow him on Twitter here, and on Facebook here. You can also follow him on Twitter as @saveonthewire for all On The Wire news.