Until earlier this year, I'd never heard of Aidan Baker, which is strange since he seems to be a fairly prolific artist. In addition to a couple other releases, he was featured as an earlier release on the Piehead Records limited series (which Matmos contributed to under the name Vague Terrain Recordings with their A Viable Guide To Actual Sexual Contact release), and with I Fall Into You, it makes at least his third release on the year.
While I don't have either of those other releases (although I've heard parts of the aforementioned Piehead release Repercussion), I can say that after hearing I Fall Into You, I'll have to make more of an effort to seek out his work. Mixing drone with post rock and experimental electronics, this 5 track, 50-minute release takes inspiration from tons of different sources and stirs them together into one drifting mass of sound.
The release opens with shifting tape loops and several layers of drones (strings, voices) on top of one another. The heaving layers shift over one another like a Stars Of The Lid track, but instead of letting the washes go wherever they want, he introduces a very subtle beat behind it all that plays off the tape squiggles, yet never overwhelms. While it's a little more aimless and slightly more inconsistent, the nearly 25-minute second track of "Lysis" still has lots of good things going on for it. Again layering some lush drones and mingling them with some subtle layers of feedbacked guitars, it takes much longer settling in, though, and only a few female vocal snippets fade in and out over the first half. About halfway through, the track again changes, adding another haunting drone and a propulsive beat that builds the track into something downright ominous.
"Symbiosis" arrives as the centerpiece to the album, and it mixes drone sounds with plucked stings and bass that sound like they were recorded inside a cavernous tank. Again, Baker show remarkable restraint on the track, adding layers and taking them away in subtle shifts that allow the track to unfold in a slow release of tension. Combined, the first three tracks on the release are some of the best work in the area of drone and ambient that I've heard this year. The album closes out with two tracks that don't really offer a whole lot more to the workings of the disc. "Phage" is a one-minute piece of layered and looped vocal bits, while "Lethe" is basically a slight rework of the opening track "Lapse" in which the only real difference is that the beat is looped backwards. Still, if you're a fan of drone and ambient music, definitely seek out this release, as Baker is definitely doing some great things.
from Almost cool music reviews
A busy bee this Aidan Baker, whose name popped up already a few times in Vital Weekly. He is both a writer and a musician, although I am not sure how (and if at all) they are connected. I haven't seen any of his writings, but his music is quite alright. It tends to be on the ambient side, and within that genre it comes quite close to the releases on Hypnos. Certainly, the opening piece of 'At the Fountain of Thirst' is in that direction. Unlike what one would suspect though is that Aidan Baker plays guitar. Certainly not easy to recognize, because it may seem a wash of synths. The four length pieces on 'Fountain' certainly grow, and culminate in 'Undine' the final piece in which the guitar in the background sounds like frying bacon. The rhythmical element is not ignored here either, so all in all it's a pretty varied release.
Frans de Waard - Vital Weekly
Frans de Waard - Vital Weekly
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