Die Stadt

In recent years, Aidan Baker has gained in stature in the mind of loop-based trance music lovers, thanks to the evolution of his considerable compositional skills and also to a willingness to experiment new paths without abandoning his basic nature of ear-bewitching guitar shaman. Oneiromancer is Baker’s first release for Die Stadt, and in its mail order edition comes with a bonus CD featuring a solo live concert recorded in 2005. The five studio pieces presented by the Canadian artist add an increasingly psychedelic touch to the mantric gradations and delicate visions of his previous albums. The most striking new factor is the use of tapes, not for the first time in Baker’s work but much more evident; urban noises, industrial clatter and terrified screams contribute to a haunting, ambivalent atmosphere as his trademark shimmering and drone-based environments are submerged in an enthralling mass of undecoded signals and percussive sequences that (especially in the concluding “Bêtes Noires”) could teach a thing or two to those who believe that merely a few sampled crows and voices lowered two octaves make for “scary” music. Of course Baker is perfectly at home on solo guitar, too, and his performance on the live disc is both masterful and a little eccentric – he uses the instrument as a tuned percussion/sequencer at one point – but contains several heartbreaking moments, revealing once again that there must be something truly consistent within an artist’s soul, for want of a better word, in order to elicit such intimate emotions from those who listen. Aidan Baker succeeds on all accounts and Oneiromancer is yet another keeper.


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