Aidan Baker Still Life

An Aidan Baker album with no guitars? Surely it can't be! It's true: Still Life, the latest missive from a man notorious for creating ambient waves of distorted guitar drone, was constructed with only piano, drums and upright bass. As is quite natural, the piano is the centrepiece. Melodies, loops and stretched out tone snippets are played both forwards and backwards as the rhythm section ― all parts played by Baker ― shuffles along. The clever use of layering allows for the drums to both keep the beat and be free, almost jazz-like, at times. Without the pure density a distorted guitar provides, Baker still manages to fill in any open spaces with swathes of sound. Fittingly, the four extended tracks that comprise Still Life blend into each other, maintaining an even keel throughout the proceedings. Consider this album another Aidan Baker masterpiece. (Primary Numbers)