Aidan Baker The Confessional Tapes
Published Feb 24, 2015For an artist who's released over 100 albums over the past 15 years, Aidan Baker still manages to surprise. Through his solo work and as one-half of Nadja, Baker has explored almost every depth of experimental, doom, death and ambient. But on The Confessional Tapes, the Berlin-via-Toronto musician has proven just how capable (and structured) of a songwriter he can be. Recorded years ago in Toronto, Baker originally lost the material when his hard drive crashed. The recovered, corrupted files have been updated for this 10-track album, lending to the distant, decaying sounds that ornament it.
Filled with distortion, hiss and blips, Baker comes off like a baroque version of Phil Elverum, adding whispered vocals and barely-there melodies to tracks like "Hart" and "Buoyancy"; to show his range, Baker adds gorgeous flutes to "Spider Named Spider Killing" and fanciful guitar pickings to "Something Less." The Confessional Tapes uses its limitations to triumphant effect; it's the imperfections here that give it such a grand, engaging personality. (Pleasence)