Exposé Online banner

Aidan Baker — Songs of Flowers and Skin
(Beta-lactam Ring mt165, 2005, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2011-06-01

Songs of Flowers and Skin Cover art

Amid the bulk of BLR releases, to which such adjectives as “noisy,” “chaotic” and “abrasive” are regularly applied, it’s easy to forget that there’s a prominent thread of quiet, introspective songwriter releases as well. Brunnen (reviewed elsewhere this issue) and Aidan Baker are two examples. Like the Brunnen, this CD consists of older material repackaged and reissued. Misty atmospherics, breathy vocals, and minimal instrumentation are the main factors with this Canadian artist, but unlike Brunnen’s keyboard-and-voice arrangement, Baker often utilizes a more band-like lineup, with guitar, bass, and drums all self-performed (except in one case, which is an even earlier live recording). In spite of the overdubbed one-man-band setup, the music sounds very organic, more like separate individuals than the kind of click-track-in-headphones fussiness you might expect. Partly that’s due to the nature of the music, which is reverb-drenched and a bit morose, kind of like demos for a Projekt-label artist (only with male vocals!). The addition of guest players on trumpet and violin really fills out the sound, elevating the simple tunes to elegiac elegance. But when oh when will labels stop including extra songs as part of the last track after 20 minutes of silence? Completely annoying!


Filed under: New releases, Issue 39, 2005 releases

Related artist(s): Aidan Baker

Latest news

2017-05-19
First ProgStock Festival Set for October – October 2017 will see the inaugural edition of a festival called ProgStock in Rahway, New Jersey at the Union County Performing Arts Center. With a definite slant towards neo-progressive music, the event is sure to please many fans with the inclusion of such artists as Echolyn, Glass Hammer, and Aisles. The festival will take place October 13-15. » Read more

2017-05-05
Clive Brooks RIP – Word reaches us today of another sad passing in the music world. Drummer Clive Brooks, best known as a member of such Canterbury bands as Egg, Uriel / Arzachel, and Groundhogs, has died at the age of 67. Details are sketchy at this point. The news was reported on Nick Mason's Facebook page — Brooks was Mason's drum tech. » Read more

2017-05-02
Col. Bruce Hampton RIP – The phrase "He died doing what he loved" is almost a cliche, but in the case of Col. Bruce Hampton, it couldn't be more true. Hampton, who was born Gustav Berglund III, collapsed on stage at his own 70th birthday celebration and later passed away. The event took place at the Fox Theater in Atlanta. » Read more

2017-04-16
ProgDay 2017 Announces First Bands – Flor de Loto, Sonar, and Infinien are the first three performers to be announced for the 2017 edition of the long-running ProgDay Festival. The 23rd ProgDay takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd, at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. » Read more

2017-04-16
Allan Holdsworth RIP – Surely in the list of artists who have contributed to the sound of modern music, there is a special spot for guitarist Allan Holdsworth. His name is known to virtually every student of the instrument in jazz and rock, and his style has been so widely emulated that it's hardly worth mentioning anymore — we can just assume that every guitarist has Holdsworth as an influence. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Rebekka - Phoenix – Phoenix was the first release by the German band Rebekka, whose brand of progressive music featured tablas and tamboura besides the standard guitar, flute, sax, keyboards, bass, and percussion. This...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues