Born in Vancouver, British Columbia, Hecker is the son of two art teachers. During his high school years, he played in rock bands with friends, before acquiring a sampler and working on solo material. He moved to Montreal, Quebec in 1998 to study at Concordia University and explore his artistic interests further. He initially performed internationally as a DJ and techno producer under the name Jetone, releasing three albums under the moniker. By 2001 he became disenchanted with the musical direction of the Jetone project. In 2001, Hecker released the album Haunt Me, Haunt Me Do It Again, under his own name through the label Alien8. He followed with Radio Amor (2003) and Mirages (2004).
In 2006 he moved to Kranky where he released his fourth album Harmony in Ultraviolet. His current method of working involves the use of pipe organ sounds which are digitally processed and distorted. For the album Ravedeath, 1972, Hecker travelled to Iceland where together with Ben Frost, he recorded parts in a church. In November 2010, Alien8 re-released Hecker’s debut album on vinyl. Live performances contain improvisations by processing organ sounds that are manipulated, with great fluctuations in volume.
In 2012, Hecker collaborated with Daniel Lopatin (who records as Oneohtrix Point Never) on an improvisatory project which became Instrumental Tourist (2012). Following 2013’s Virgins, Hecker convened once again in Reykjavik for sessions across 2014 and 2015, to create what would become Love Streams. Collaborators include Ben Frost, Johann Johannsson, Kara-Lis Coverdale and Grimur Helgason, whilst the 15th century choral works by Josquin des Prez birthed the foundations of the album. In February 2016, it was announced that Hecker had joined 4AD while his eighth album was released in April of that year. Hecker admits to thinking about ideas like “liturgical aesthetics after Yeezus” and the “transcendental voice in the age of auto-tune” during its creation.
In addition to touring with Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Sigur Rós and recording with the likes of Fly Pan Am, Hecker has also collaborated with Christof Migone, Martin Tétreault and Aidan Baker. He has also contributed remixes to other artists, including Isis.