(The Kora)

Certain moments in life make us think that coincidental happenings do not occur for a real coincidence, following a bigger design instead. “Scalpel”, a splendid album featuring Baker’s acoustic guitar, voice, violin and a recorder, happened to constitute the intimate soundtrack of a gorgeous spring morning: shining sun, birds everywhere, even the distant noise of the vehicles contributing to a macrocosmic soundscape whose tentative description in writing would result in a deadly sin. It can only be perceived as a defence-reinforcing vibe, that’s all. The five long songs, which should be appreciated by fans of Syd Barrett and Nick Drake – just to give you vague references, but don’t take me for granted – are unquestionably Aidan Baker’s in style and hypnotizing allure. Vocals are often slow-ish, elongated emissions substituting meanings that are essentially there yet incorporeal, imaginary. The guitars underline the overall beatitude with elegant minimal arpeggios or languid-yet-penetrating strumming, and as usual a knowledgeable use of looping transforms the whole in an uncatchable cloud of damp (un)quietness, rich in overtones and spurious reverberations. No more words from this side: 500 copies could be enough for a while, but act fast. This is a record that eats the whole lot of overhyped neo-psych-folk rubbish around today for breakfast.

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