Aidan Baker
At the Fountain of Thirst


3.5
great

Review

by Cam EMERITUS
November 9th, 2008 | 23 replies


Release Date: 2003 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A beautiful ambient work.

Aidan Baker is a remarkably prolific artist, and with every remarkably prolific artist, there’s that age-old argument that just has to come up. Is Baker prolific because he’s an undisputed musical genius? Or is his style of music so simple that it would be hard for him not to release thirty zillion albums a year? Personally, I find it to be a mixture of both. His drone-metal stuff with Nadja and his ambient work under his own name all pretty much sounds the same, and could be considered “simple”, in a sense. But mostly everything he’s done is solid, and a lot of his albums are excellent, some verging on perfect. I guess it’s sort of hard to tell.

At the Fountain of Thirst was recorded during one of these prolific streaks, way back in 2003, when Baker’s music started gaining attention. While Nadja records are heavy and crushing, and are often exercises in dynamics and epic build-ups, Baker’s solo work is more simple and ambient in nature and design. At the Fountain doesn’t try to reverse this trend. The songs here don’t really move around much, choosing to stay limited within their framework of repetitive synth strokes and other simplistic yet effective electronic devices. The result is a more calming album, one that is more structured and simple than most of Nadja’s releases, but also digs down with more emotion. Plus, like the best ambient albums, At the Fountain of Thirst strikes a variety of moods within its compositions. If you look towards the third track on the album, titled “Lorelei”, you’ll find the best example of this. The track’s pulsating synths are airy and calming, but random crashes of Nadja-light feedback are more eerie and foreboding than relaxing. These little additions, like the bursts of feedback, Baker makes with the track alters the mood, and makes it more interesting and demanding another listen. The track lasts a pretty lengthy sixteen minutes, but it speeds by. On the other side of length spectrum is “Undine”, which is the shortest track on the album; it is also the best. Consisting of layers of fast moving clicks--for lack of a better word, we’ll call the sound “clicks” for now--with breathless synths floating over weightlessly above, “Undine” is easily more beautiful than anything Sigur Ros or Explosions in the Sky could do, and yet barely anyone has ever heard the song. Words can barely even describe how refreshed you feel after listening to it.

Not every track is this engaging, however. At the Fountain opens on an especially sour note, as “Melusine” is so redundant that a simultaneously eerie and heavenly feeling that you begin to achieve after the first six minutes starts to condense into boredom. Listening to this album, though, you can tell that Baker doesn’t really care what we, the listeners, actually think. These tracks are obviously created for his own benefit, for him to pore out his emotions into lengthy ambient compositions, and we’re just lucky enough to be brought along for the ride. At the Fountain of Thirst can be inconsistent, especially near the beginning, but it’s certainly an experience to be relished when listened to in full.



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user ratings (1)
3
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
joshuatree
Emeritus
November 9th 2008


3742 Comments


you people should check this out

bastard
November 9th 2008


3435 Comments


this sounds very good.

nice job with the review.

joshuatree
Emeritus
November 9th 2008


3742 Comments


thanks g

robin
Emeritus
November 9th 2008


4257 Comments


great review but i probably wont listen to it anyway

joshuatree
Emeritus
November 9th 2008


3742 Comments



might put this on my blog so its easier to find for you peoples

pixiesfanyo
November 9th 2008


1223 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

this one is okay. my favorite Aidan Baker album is probably Green & Cold though

Doppelganger
November 9th 2008


3124 Comments


actually have not heard this one

good review, too

joshuatree
Emeritus
November 9th 2008


3742 Comments


upped this at my blog, http://chainwanderingdeeply.blogspot.com/2008/11/aidan-baker-at-fountain-of-youth.html

Doppelganger
November 9th 2008


3124 Comments


thank you thank you thank you it's so damn hard to find his stuff on blogsearch

robin
Emeritus
November 12th 2008


4257 Comments


tim hecker is so much better than this, why did you lie

joshuatree
Emeritus
November 12th 2008


3742 Comments


where did i say that cause i dont see it

robin
Emeritus
November 12th 2008


4257 Comments


[quote=bad opinion on tim hecker] if you like Tim Hecker or The Green Kingdom you'll love this.[/quote]

well at least i just assumed so because of the "like" "love" stuff idunno.

joshuatree
Emeritus
November 12th 2008


3742 Comments


you assumed wrong you fine fellow tim hecker owns this any day

robin
Emeritus
November 12th 2008


4257 Comments


i prefer the nadja album you reviewed to this, got it listening to on my ipod alot. you should review "harmony in ultraviolet" with the RIGHT opinion.

Doppelganger
November 12th 2008


3124 Comments


maybe you should listen to the new tim hecker AND AIDAN BAKER COLLAB?!!! !! ?!

?

joshuatree
Emeritus
November 12th 2008


3742 Comments


i dont have much time to listen to much or review anything at the moment
even though harmony in ultraviolet rules and i have that collab on my ipod, havent listened yet though

Doppelganger
November 12th 2008


3124 Comments


it's pretty good I've only listened to it once though

robin
Emeritus
November 12th 2008


4257 Comments


i am definetely getting that (but obviously only for the tim hecker part)This Message Edited On 11.12.08

joshuatree
Emeritus
November 12th 2008


3742 Comments


baker rules as well i dunno what you on boy

Anodyne
November 12th 2008


85 Comments


hecker sucks more



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