AIDAN BAKER – I Will Always And Forever Hold You In My Heart And Mind

(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, 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 every time, in a way or another. You guessed it: this is, again, a looped guitar soundscape. Yet it is different in several of its aspects. For starters, the notes picked by the Canadian are often more concretely perceptible; I exactly mean the pick thudding on the string which – once sampled, stratified and reproduced in conjunction with the customary celestial strata of nebulous chords – attributes a distinct rhythmic drive to the material, thus pushing it quite distant from the “exclusively ambient, exclusively airy” canons. Not that we can’t like the latter: when AB is involved, individuating even a few minutes not on a level of excellence is a hell of a task. In addition to the usual concentrated attitude mixed with the guitarist’s keen ear for everything superimposed – hiss and noise now and then creeping in amidst the sweetness – these new qualities are signs of a unique personality that most artists won’t develop in a lifetime, whereas Baker has shown it since his very first record.

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