# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Aidan Baker - Already Drowning

  by Andrew Carver

published: 10 / 3 / 2013

Aidan Baker - Already Drowning
Label: Gizeh Records
Format: CD


Compelling new album from Canadian multi-instrumentalist Aidan Baker, which inspired by myths and folk tales about female water spirits, finds him working with eight women vocalists

Aidan Baker is well known for his work as one half of drone outfit Nadja, and more recently for collaborating with Montreal sound artist Tim Hecker. On ‘Already Drowning’ he stretches his collaborative urges out even further, roping in eight women to add their vocals to seven songs - actual songs - that take a definite step away from his better-known improvisational work, and into the world of fantastic females and mythological water spirits. The title track leads things off with Toronto singer Clara Engel on board. It travels at an easy pace, with a spare sound constructed around slow-tempo, uncluttered percussion and Engel’s husky voice drawling and fluttering along on top for much of its near-nine-minute length, but as things come to a close, Baker ladles in some Jesu-style fuzz. Slowcore vocalist Jessica Bailiff, who has worked with David Pierce of Flying Saucer Attack and Alan Sparhawk of Low, is up next at the plate on ‘30 Days/30 Nights’, providing some narrative over some wheezing noises and gentle flute that make a musical backdrop reminiscent of Godspeed! You Black Emperor’s most restrained interludes. 'Melusine’, named after the mythological European sprite, is a less straightforward propostion. With vocals from Valerie Niederoest and Maude Oswald of Lausanne outfit Toboggan singing and muttering over disjointed drumbeats, it’s closest in spirit to Baker’s experimental work. Joanna Kupnicka of Berlin’s the Cold Hand sings ‘Mein Zwilling, Mein Verlorener’ in German, as the melody is picked out on acoustic guitar. Its lovely, clear-eyed style will put some in mind of Damon & Naomi’s crystalline neo-folk. ‘Tout Juste Sous La Surface’ features Quebec’s Genevieve Castree (of Woelv, now working as O Paon), in one of the album’s most Nadja-like tracks, with the noise swelling under her increasingly strident singing, then subsiding again as the sounds returns to a simple timekeeping beat, lightly scraped metal and Laura C. Bates’ violin. ‘Ice’ picks up the pace a bit with some relatively brisk percussion behind the drifting, dreamy vocals of Picastro’s Lyz Hysen (her bandmate Nick Storring also contributes some cello to the album). The 11-minute song comes to a tootling crescendo not unlike Picastro’s tootling Roma found sound artefacts. After six songs that put one in mind of Carla Bozulich’s work as Evangelsita, it is perhaps unsurprising that Bozulich shows up herself to finish the album off with ‘Lorelei/Common Tongue’. Her husky voiced, along with her trademark echoing counterpoint to sing a different line in the background, ends the album on a sinister note. ‘Already Drowning’ does drag on occasion (those no need for ‘Melusine’ to go on for six minutes), but it also provides a great showcase for a several excellent singers and an attractive new form of music for Baker.

Track Listing:-
1 Already Drowning
2 30 Days/30 Nights
3 Mélusine
4 Mein Zwilling, Mein Verlorener
5 Tout Juste Sous La Surface, Je Guette
6 Ice
7 Lorelei

Band Links:-

Label Links:-

Post A Comment

your name
ie London, UK
Check box to submit

digital downloads

most viewed articles

most viewed reviews

Pennyblackmusic Regular Contributors