Review Summary: not so still tones for the still minds of still lives.
Hot on the heels of March’s Only Stories
, Aidan Baker has again put together a cohesive ambient piece that soothes and lulls. While Only Stories
was essentially a reworking of Scalpel
with even more minimalist tendencies, Still Life
captures the concept of its title perfectly with a almost lounge-esque aesthetic. In writing this record, Baker has left his guitar at home and created four mood pieces with only piano, drums and bass.
Naturally the composition is based around the piano work, which both leads and supplements the music, bouncing on the soft and cushioned rhythm section. For the most part, Still Life
is a gentle and placid arrangement – it’s an almost perfect accompaniment to lethargic winter days. Though of course Baker is not an artist to be pigeonholed, and his eccentricity shines through on several occasions – ‘Complex Iconographic Symbology’, juxtaposes rather eerily with the first two songs, conjuring an extremely dark mood that takes the record to its end. Another peculiar example is the midsection of ‘Refuge from Oblivion’, comprising of a frenetic and disorderly piano line, which, ironically, is no refuge from oblivion.
sits as another excellent addition to Baker’s burgeoning discography. As with many ambient artists, Baker has the ability to produce large quantities of music, but what easily separates Baker from others is the consistency and quality that surrounds his work.