AOTY 2018
Tim Hecker - Virgins
Critic Score
Based on 24 reviews
2013 Ratings: #27 / 953
Year End Rank: #29
User Score
Based on 226 ratings
2013 Ratings: #20
October 14, 2013 / Release Date
LP / Format
Kranky / Label
Drone, Ambient / Genres
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Your Review



As much as a ton of work goes into his records, both sonically and conceptually, it never stops Tim Hecker records from being tremendously exciting and enjoyable, and from feeling like Hecker is enjoying himself. That’s not to say Virgins isn’t a serious, complex, often challenging work; it’s all of those things.


It convulses with a sense of limitless possibility; it rolls up everything Hecker has done before this and, as is his wont, pulverizes it into a fine mash. What's new is the thing he molds from the dampened ashes.

The Needle Drop
Canadian music producer Tim Hecker returns with a stunning collection of tracks that make for some of the most beautiful music I've heard this year.
The 405

When before we had anonymous landscapes and lonely rides through unknown dystopias, we now have an identity, purpose and meaning to the bleak and emotional sounds, and it's really quite astonishing.


Hecker’s music has always been eerie, but never this forceful. Some sections of Virgins feel like soundtracks for horror-movie climaxes when the camera fixes on a sickening image and refuses to turn away, fascinated and trapped at the same time.

FACT Magazine

This volatility is Virgins’ most intriguing feature; where on previous albums you would expect Hecker’s songs to soar, now they teem with internal energy. The result, unexpectedly, is his most ambitious record yet.

Drowned in Sound

Another essential release then, but a step towards theory-over-content that Hecker never really needed.

The Line of Best Fit

The layers of noise, which at first may seem intimidating, are so harmonically rich they immerse the listener as the sounds interact creating new and unexpectedly mellifluous sounds.


Hecker's sound signature may still be instantly recognizable, but there is no denying that he has moved significantly farther down the path toward something else with Virgins.

Resident Advisor

That Hecker manages to layer such full, independent sounds over and across each other without ever losing the emotional heart of what he's building is evidence of his increasingly unique understanding of texture and mood.

Top Favorite: Live Room
Other Favorites: Black Refraction, Virginal II, Virginal I
Least Favorite: Stigmata I
The entire album feels blackened, decrepit, hellish, foreboding and I just love every waking moment of it. This is a piece of work that once you land on any track from it in your shuffle, you aren't leaving the album until it's done. It's just incredibly captivating stuff.
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#37/Pitchfork (Ambient)

Track List

  1. Prism
  2. Virginal I
  3. Radiance
  4. Live Room
  5. Live Room Out
  6. Virginal II
  7. Black Refraction
  8. Incense at Abu Ghraib
  9. Amps, Drugs, Harmonium
  10. Stigmata I 
  11. Stigmata II
  12. Stab Variation
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Added on: July 17, 2013