Reviews Aidan Baker Gathering Blue

Aidan Baker

Gathering Blue

The amount of work that Aidan Baker produces is absolutely staggering. Besides solo releases like Gathering Blue he releases records as part of Nadja and Whispering Room as well as collaborations with Tim Hecker, ThisQuietArmy, and others. A double LP, Gathering Blue is one coming via Equation Records and in limited quantities (so much so that these might all be missing considering the fanaticism of some Baker-philes).

Interestingly enough, Gathering Blue is my first experience of Aidan Baker’s solo material; and I am pleasantly surprised with how different the material can be from his other musical projects. The swirls of white noise manipulation and feedback are largely missing from this batch of mellow ambience and moody compositions that more entice listening rather than the demanding listening experience of which I am more familiar from Baker. The gentle sounds of songs like “Bond of Blood”, the title track, and even the remix of “The Cicadas Sing Our Love Song” provide one of the more soothing listening experiences that have graced my ears in while. The vocals seem to lull one into a strange stupor as the undulating sounds and just aurally perceptible flourishes work as either background or finely layered arrangements that reward the attention a listener gives it (just as ambient music should). The cover of “24 Hour Party People” sounds nothing like the original, but after reading the song title, I did recognize the song and consider it a unique interpretation and a neat inclusion on the album.

Gathering Blue is a thoroughly enjoyable listening experience and a good example (in my opinion at least, if that means anything) of one way of expanding the envelope of ambient music. The album works on multiple levels depending on the attention given to the music by the listener, and Gathering Blue is completely non forward in that its songs do not force themselves to be listened (that is solely up to the listener to decide). Aidan Baker is a truly remarkable musician, not just for the sheer volume of work that he produces but also for the remarkable quality to which it all seems to live up to, although admittedly, I have only heard a fraction of his material. Check this record out if you are looking for a calming listening experience; Gathering Blue might be just what you are looking for from such a record.

7.5 / 10Bob
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Equation

2009

7.5 / 10

7.5 / 10

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