Published Jan 22, 2016Prolific drone-metal craftsman Aidan Baker's new record, Dualism, is an effort born out of error and chance. Believing the initial recording was lost, Baker remade the album and then discovered the original; that frustrating process has resulted in six mirror tracks and an album that finds beauty in the act of revision.
Baker pairs billowing reverb with meditative percussion, giving the proceedings an exaggerated viscosity that makes these songs unfold with dreamlike slowness; high-hats hiss, while bass chords form an endless undercurrent. The lengthier compositions gather depth through repetition rather than heaviness, as they lack the distortion of Nadja, Baker's other band.
The twin versions of each track are divided into Sessions A and B, and in most cases, the reworked songs are slightly longer and more produced. Clocking in at almost 25 minutes, "Consciousness Bridge" is a mammoth of sound, forging a sonic passage through a windstorm of orchestrated static. Both versions of "Dualism (Body)" glide along glacially, while the "Dualism (Mind)" sessions proceed with a long, pronounced sense of doom.
Considering Aidan Baker's extensive output, it's difficult to say if Dualism qualifies as essential listening, but the expansive record remains undeniably intriguing. (Midira)