20 Best Avant Albums of 2016

The year's best in ambient, noise, out-jazz, synth music, contemporary composition and more

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Tim Hecker 'Love Streams'

9. Tim Hecker 'Love Streams'

On his eighth album, Montreal digital sculptor Tim Hecker has set his sights on tweaking woodwinds and human voices. Utilizing the Icelandic Choir Ensemble, Love Streams is another master class in layered, heart-swelling atmospheres that never resort to post-rock crescendos or New Age placidity: joyous explosions, digital ringing, voices singing phonemes, tumbles of icicle synths, sounds like steel drums or AutoTuned feedback and, of course, his deep bass-rumbling drones.

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