Aidan Baker/the Infant Cycle Rural

The ever-prolific ambient music artist known as Aidan Baker has yet another release under his belt, this time with Jim DeJong, which makes the former a contender against Merzbow for most records released per year. Together, they push the boundaries of what is usually abused in the genre - dark, brooding landscapes/soundscapes/etc. - into a positive but non-descriptive genre and overall experience. This limited edition release, in a DVD case, is two long tracks consisting of Baker's stratospheric stretching of looped guitars, bass, all things percussive and tapes, while DeJong is simply credited with "others," which certainly lends a challenge when trying to determine what the sources of the sounds are. The two pieces, when played from the start, possess an aquatic church/religious atmosphere that rises and rises with colour and intensity, to the point where a grand emergence is met, while the second track, where one can almost hear the cooing of a ghost, is like the feeling of defeat, or death, but in a peaceful vibe. The major trick pulled off here is that the duo did not utilise the conventional formula of dynamics, instead everything is calm and subtle, and it's the combination of all the subtleties that make it sound so large. (Blade)