(Beta-lactam Ring)

The stylish sleeve, adorned by Japanese lettering in an all-black background, hides an album that introduces a slight change of perspective for the Toronto soundscaper. In fact, guitars are not the most prominent instruments in Book Of Nods, even though they’re as always featured. Piano, organ, flute and drums were also abundantly employed within uncomplicated fragments of thematic ideas and tonal hues, subsequently looped – as per Baker’s customary practice – to generate stratifications of crawling melodies and remote calls from unearthly circumstances. The record begins indeed with semi-inert piano repetitions underscored by ebbing and flowing organ lines; their superimposed truthfulness elicits Charlemagne Palestine-like upper partial resonances which seem to orientate the music towards a proper minimalism. As the minutes slip away, we start identifying the Baker known by the rest of the world. Gaseous essences initiate quivering pictures of elusiveness, nothing being exactly what it seems (in spite of the somewhat disrespectful intrusion of the drums, which – either sparsely or also processed, as in the final “Good & Evil” – actually disrupt the enchantment a little bit). This is probably the lone unpersuasive aspect of an otherwise compelling release, well worth of addition in the collection of any serious Aidan Baker devotee. Fortunately, the man’s prolificacy keeps a direct proportionality with the over-average significance of his musical ideas.