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CD Feature/ Aidan Baker: "Oneiromancer"

img  Tobias

An Oneiromancer, as dictionaries have it, is someone who is able to foretell the future through dreams. So it is easy to predict where Aidan Baker is leading us with his latest release, a double CD on German label “Die Stadt”: Into the realms of the intangible, into the grey land between the ego and the void, to a kindom ruled by the iron hand of the unconscious.

Somehow, this has always been his destination. Like his Canadian compatriot David Lynch, Baker keeps coming back to the same places, only from different perspectives and in varying contexts – places which seem as alien as they appear to be familar. Within his tightly defined cosmos, “Oneiromancer” is a remarkable and curageous step forward and an album which you’ll find hard to erase from the screen of your mind once you’ve listened to it. His trademark pads are still present, floating like thoughts on a blue sky, cuddled into themselves like a desert mouse in hibernation. But on this occasion, they are regularly contrasted with carpets of sounds, often harsh and ragged in nature, stark cliff-scapes and rocky canyons opening up wide into the unknown. This robbs them off their inherent sweetness, but adds a layer of mystery and – yes – dark eroticism. A stripped-down rhythmic nerve permeates the six scenes of the first disc, either through ghoulishly effective hi-hat figures or a distant metalic stab and sinister grating and rasping fading in and out of the sonic picture according to a will of their own. “You can wake me up now” a voice claims, but closing track “Betes Noires” takes us even further into the night, lighting it up with redly sparks and images of water mills in faraway lands plowing streams of milky fluids. Disc 2 consists of a live recording from Toronto in 2005 and offers a more direct approach, with Baker’s guitar loops building from humble and touching beginnings into richly textured canvasses.of sound

We’ll leave the question of whether or not this is his best album to the so-called critics and those who have listened to all of his almost thirty records. For sure, though, “Oneiromancer” is his deepest and most enigmatic work, a trip which will occupy your dreams for some time to come. From here, the future of Aidan Baker is anyone’s guess. 

By Tobias Fischer

Homepage: Aidan Baker
Homepage: Die Stadt Records

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