Aidan Baker — Songs of Flowers and Skin
(Beta-lactam Ring mt165, 2005, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2011-06-01
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!
Related artist(s): Aidan Baker
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more