Published Apr 06, 2015For his latest solo release, Aidan Baker (of Nadja fame) has offered up a double album with substantial conceptual weight and depth. The dual nature of Baker's oeuvre is at play here: the music evokes both his most wildly experimental urges and his most straightforward, song-oriented material, often within a single piece. Half Lives is divided down the middle into two hemispheres, loosely connected by a corpus callosum of sonic clues that Baker leaves for his listeners to discover and ruminate upon.
Sub-titled Mountains Sweat Clouds and As I Walked On Dead Earth, the respective halves of the album each unfold within their own framework, with the first section focusing on the artist's electric guitar work and the latter portion derived from acoustic guitar. That being said, drums, synthesizers, field recordings and Baker's own vocals are scattered throughout the proceedings, serving to heighten the conceptual strength of the material via ornament rather than acting to obfuscate matters. Half Lives is a brooding and powerful miasma of textures and tones, a welcome addition to Baker's canon. (Gizeh)