ARC – Arkhangelsk


Aidan Baker, Richard Baker and Christopher Kukiel (of course you did notice that the trio’s denomination comes from their first name’s initials, didn’t you?) keep chasing the Muse of psychedelic rock in Arkhangelsk, only with an extra stroke of metrical beefiness and a soupçon of In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida-ism here and there, which might sound outlandish on a first try yet works fine when one gets used to the overall vibe characterizing this effort. Partitioned into four extensive tracks the album interconnects, as usual, elongated loops and ancestral rhythms (all three performers are credited with percussion). What unquestionably leaks from the traditional static stupor caused by Aidan Baker’s stratified reappearances is a motivation for improvising much more with drumming, to the point that part of the music’s nature appears to some extent unbalanced towards those very percussive elements. Case in point the final “Ossuary”, where the three cohorts roll and tumble as we’ve never heard before, almost inundating the fundamental static harmony of the piece. Still, a shamanic influence is present all through the material, the consequences on the psyche frequently overwhelming. In its own singular way, Arkhangelsk is an authentication: not a veritable step forward but not a faux pas, either.


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