Aidan Baker

Album Title: Figures
Release Date: April 5, 2005
Genre: Ambient
Set the mood to moody with Toronto-based sound shifter Aidan Baker. This veteran of pontification has just released a six-song effort entitled Figures, and yes, it's consistent with Baker's large back catalogue. And by that, I mean it's very good. Each track is somewhat spooky and tends to slowburn almost at will, giving this music a dreamy, synthetic aura that can only be achieved through heightened attention to detail. Of course, when you've been plying your craft as long as Baker has, it becomes more obvious which buttons to push without putting the listener asleep. Echoes of Flying Saucer Attack and Godspeed! You Black Emperor are at work but rather than bouncing off the back wall, Baker manages to deflect the dissonance by keeping arrangements on the right side of sparse. Thus, even when you're anticipating a plateau during "Figure 1" or "Figure 3", Baker is merely content to ride these noises out to their (il)logical end. A challenging listen to be certain, but worth the effort if you feel like riding a cold wave.

Writer: Cameron Gordon

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