Metascore
73

Generally favorable reviews - based on 23 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 23
  2. Negative: 0 out of 23
  1. Jan 29, 2013
    60
    While wildly uneven and far from either's strongest work, Instrumental Tourist does have its moments of inspiration.
  2. Dec 19, 2012
    75
    This is music that needs to be felt rather than simply heard.
  3. Dec 17, 2012
    80
    If the initial listening experience challenges, long-term exposure unfurls Instrumental Tourist's full beauty. [Jan 2013, p.91]
  4. Dec 5, 2012
    80
    A return visit for these two tourists would be welcome. [Nov 2012, p.60]
  5. It's pleasant, unsurprisingly enough, in both its sonic direction and minimal production, but it lacks the sense of overwhelming purpose usually found on both artists' solo records.
  6. Nov 30, 2012
    75
    It's an enjoyable detour, one that affirms how well these producers have honed their approaches to sound.
  7. Nov 29, 2012
    40
    Quality though it could be, if only the vision wasn't so occluded.
  8. Nov 29, 2012
    60
    Instrumental Tourist can quickly feel like an experience of diminishing returns, as I began to pick out all my favorite bits and wait anxiously for those as the waves I had to surf to get there and back became more and more of a sort of test.
  9. Nov 28, 2012
    50
    Instrumental Tourist is unlikely to be viewed as anything more than an unimposing footnote between solo records.
  10. Nov 27, 2012
    60
    Is it less than the sum of its parts? Perhaps. However, it is an ambitious and interesting album that not only plugs the gap nicely between Tim Hecker and Oneohtrix Point Never albums but signals interesting things to come from Lopatin's SSTUDIOS series.
  11. Nov 27, 2012
    70
    As pure listening experience, Tourist's mazelike structure, full of echoes and switchbacks, best lends itself to listening on shuffle.
  12. Nov 26, 2012
    70
    In Instrumental Tourist, Hecker and Lopatin have struck upon a secret chord, traced sacred geometries, and laid a foundation sturdy enough to build upon. It's sound as structure, structurally sound.
  13. Nov 21, 2012
    70
    They're not concerned with clunky subgenres or fitting into anyone's neat little boxes. With Instrumental Tourist, it is what it is.
  14. Nov 20, 2012
    70
    All in all, Instrumental Tourist offers more proof that these two are undisputed masters in their field, regardless of how necessary a collaborative effort like this really is anyway.
  15. 60
    Tourist could have benefited from more calculation and an emphasis on the things that have paid dividends for these guys in the past.
  16. Nov 19, 2012
    70
    As sublime as much of Instrumental Tourist is, it rarely fulfills that promise of improvisation, of a real sonic engagement or play, and struggles to exceed the sum of its parts.
  17. Nov 19, 2012
    60
    There are enough fragments of warped interference to ensure this is a worthy collaboration albeit one which doesn't entirely muscle up to the canon of its individual progenitors.
  18. Nov 19, 2012
    80
    Their warring improvisations are intriguing, unsettling and often exquisite.
  19. Nov 19, 2012
    70
    Instrumental Tourist is an attempt to cleanse the listener of "urban discontinuity" and experience the world as a passenger (something that's lost on a generation so used to being in control).
  20. Nov 19, 2012
    65
    Despite scattered flashes of brilliance, too often it's an album that feels unambitious, as though it's content to dwell in the middle ground where the two producers' back catalogs intersect rather than forge something new.
  21. Nov 19, 2012
    80
    On these songs, Lopatin and Hecker take the sounds in their intentionally limited palette to places they may never have been expected to go, and the journey is intriguing and frequently lovely.
  22. Nov 19, 2012
    70
    And while there's no percussion in any conventional sense, the likes of "Uptown Psychedelia" jerk manically to their own spasmodic rhythms. Yet where those tracks are marked by an almost feverish nervous tension, from "Racist Drone" onwards Hecker and Lopatin seem to drift into an almost tranquilised state-one which strays closer to ambient clich├ęs.
  23. Nov 19, 2012
    60
    This is a missed opportunity, but it's commendable that when both parties are not at their strongest the results can still satisfy.

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