AIDAN BAKER – The Silent World

FL/FM

An imprint from Liege, Belgium, FL/FM (standing for “Fuck Labels/Fuck Mastering” – chapeau!) has issued this brilliant effort by Aidan Baker in only 30 copies. Cassettes, of all things, already sold out at the source. This is an item really worthy of being looked for if you’re a collector and a fan of the Canadian’s work.

After a quick look, I realized that we were not reporting on Baker since 2013 (gosh). It’s nice to find our old friend still in great shape. Playing every instrument by himself – guitar, bass and drums – the man is as deeply taken by his atmospheric loops as ever, with the difference that this time there’s more of a drawn-out swing/psychedelic meandering about the music which renders it truly addictive.

I’m not kidding when telling that in the last couple of days your scribbler was mostly listening to these narcotizing reveries, the last and longest mysteriously titled “Trieste”. It’s a delicious combination of slightly warped calls and floating snippets, functioning effectively on the mechanisms of self-possession as the preceding “Kaiko” and “Nereus”. Interestingly, all three titles have a marine clue linking them.

The icing on the cake is Baker’s attention given to the low-density scoriae that, in the mix, surround the cleaner tones. This, in conjunction with a few quirky touches deriving from the manipulation of the delay’s controls, guarantees that no chance exists for the sounds to become predictable or too mathematically reiterative. An unlawful symmetry, so to speak.

Extremely pleasurable throughout, but never “easy”; relatively static, yet replete with little cells of melodic/rhythmic motility enhanced by effects used – as always – with genuinely musical sense. The Silent World – something this writer dreams from the years of tenderness – escorts the listener across a trip that presents no threats of glacial incomprehension. Trust the strange glow of its begrimed components; relish the inevitable reward for hours to come.

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