AIDAN BAKER – Pure Drone

Beta-Lactam Ring

Part of a compendium of 7 LPs involving himself alone plus assorted collaborative projects he’s into, Pure Drone sees Aidan Baker’s guitars at the maximum level of oneiric minimalism. In keeping with the album’s title, the first side “Pure” revolves around a single centre, a severely reduced quantity of barely wavering notes whose only alteration is given by the way in which our ears catch their resonance according to our place in an ephemeral environment. The structure of the pitches features different degrees of intensity: one moment the fundamental tones almost seem to disappear, elsewhere they become nearly tangible, tending to invade the remote corners. Really transfixing and quite beautiful, perhaps the most Niblockian piece I’ve ever heard from the Canadian. “Drone” is even more tonal, its appearance halfway through the deeply resounding frequencies of the late Klaus Wiese’s processed Tibetan bowls and the dampened moan of a faraway bomber squadron. Contrarily to the previous episode, there’s an underlying rhythmic pulse pushing from the bottom; the entrancing effect remains the same until we’re left suspended without any subsonic support at the end, just wrapped in choral timelessness. Indispensable stuff for any serious aficionado, not just of Baker but of mind-calming music in general.

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