ANNE CHRIS BAKKER – Stof&Geest

Unknown Tone

The name could be misleading for the unacquainted, but Anne Chris Bakker is a man. More precisely, a guitarist and composer from Groningen whose collaborations and previous outings were completely unknown to this writer. By setting the goal of creating music that “search for an intangible space against the backdrop of a Western world that mainly has a materialistic worldview” Bakker puts to good use the combination of individual sensitivity and ability to draw significance from melancholic chords and loops drenched by a thick fog of uncertainty. A journey through the unconquerable introversion of winter afternoons spent wondering about decisive mistakes and “another chance” daydreams, without coming up with acceptable answers.

Stratified, stretched and bowed guitars; piano sketches recorded on cassettes apparently close to a Basinskian grade of decay; field recordings. A wise manipulation of the above constituents throws receptive listeners into a state of abstraction from reality, but still in full control of their faculties. Small doses of unobtrusive dissonance are occasionally added to further spice up the recipe, whereas the last track “Make My Bed In Crystal Waters” is remotely reminiscent of Tim Story’s finest hours in its unpretentious melodicism. Stof&Geest comes highly recommended to most everybody appreciating the sweeter caresses of sadness, and to those who include artists such as Andrew Chalk, Taylor Deupree and Norman Westberg in their personal Hall of Fame.

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