(Small Doses)

I’m constantly impressed by the “frequency/quality” ratio of Aidan Baker’s music. This CD, unfortunately a very limited edition of 155 copies that’s already sold out as far as I know, is both another demonstration of Baker’s methods and an impressive example of how an artist can produce ever-stimulating sounds by using the same sources all the time, in a way or another. You guessed right: this is, again, a looped guitar soundscape. Yet different, in several of its aspects. For starters, the notes picked by the Canadian are often more concretely perceptible, I mean exactly the pick thudding on the string – which, once sampled, stratified and reproduced together with the customary celestial strata of nebulous chords, attributes a distinct rhythmic drive to the material, thus bringing it quite distant from the “exclusively ambient, exclusively airy” canons (not that we don’t like those, too: when AB is involved, individuating even a few minutes that are not on the level of excellence is a hell of a task). These new qualities, the usual concentrated attitude mixed with the guitarist’s keen ear for everything superimposed, the hiss and the noise that every now and then creep in amidst the sweetness. Signs of a unique personality, something that many won’t develop in a lifetime and that Aidan has possessed since his first record instead.