(Gears of Sand)

“All sounds produced by electric guitar recorded in a single take then doubled and the double reversed”. Easy, one would say – but it ain’t so. “Pendulum” is made of main roads that get abandoned to throw a look beyond the fences, only to discover that the sullen atmosphere you perceive is not only in your imagination but is born from the position in which life has forced you to remain. Baker’s sound here is ominous and dirty, blemished by those small imperfections that any other guitarist would try to eliminate; instead, he uses them as speculative means of introverted stimulation, massaging both our curiosity and sense of anticipation with fragmentary distortions and huge low resonances. All the shortsighted definitions that usually come to mind are finally neutralized, in favour of a total emancipation of the sound from the instrument that generates it. Insurmountable barriers appear now as approachable, the maximization of the effect treatment as a way to understanding rules that do exist but cannot be written; walls of looping strata slowly become a complex architecture where the few irregularities sound necessary. Baker has been working for many years to arrive to these results, and his multi-instrumental skill and harmonic consciousness – which an attentive, educated ear can perceive even when he plays just a guitar – are what separates him from the mass.

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