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BAKER, AIDAN & TIM HECKER - Fantasma Parastasie

Format: CD
Label & Cat.Number: Alien8 ALIENCD 81
Release Year: 2008
Note: long awaited collab by the two drone-heroes from Canada!
Price (incl. 19% VAT): €13.00

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Die beiden ungekrnten Knige des kanadischen Drone-Ambients in Kollaboration! Trotz ihres sehr unterschiedlichen Backgrounds (der eine v.a. analog mit Gitarre arbeitend aus der Jazz & Impro-Szene stammend, der andere mit rein elektronischem Hintergrund eher aus Techno & Noise-Gefilden) treffen sie sich in einer fast undefinierbaren "Mitte", wobei unklar bleibt wer wessen Material bearbeitet hat oder ob es zu real-time Zusammenspielen kam. Frei flottierende Gitarren-Drones, teils ultra-sperrig verfremdet, teils subtil & beruhigend, dann wieder ausserweltlich und berbordend. Sehr variantenreich und ausufernd. Ungewhnlich auch die Indexierung auf der CD: Die 7 Stcke verteilen sich auf ganze 66 Indexe!

"Fantasma Parastasie sees the pairing of Aidan Baker, of the ambient doom band Nadja, and Tim Hecker, two of Canada's brightest musicians in the world of abstract electronic music. Tim Hecker has been enjoying the rewards of a stellar career and discography, devoid of filler, due to his incredibly high quality control. His full-length Harmony In Ultra Violet was viewed as a major release in the genre of experimental electronic music. Aidan Baker, on the other hand, works under very different circumstances, releasing material both as a solo artist and as a member of the duo Nadja. His prolificacy is on par with that of Merzbow and the late Muslimgauze. Thankfully, Aidan Baker is one of those musicians with the ability to record and write new music quickly and without sacrificing the quality of his art. Anyone familiar with both Aidan Baker and Tim Hecker is more than likely familiar with Alien8 Recordings as the two musicians have collectively released seven records for our label thus far. While Baker has collaborated with the likes of John Duncan, Black Boned Angel and Fear Falls Burning, among others, this marks the first collaboration to be released by Hecker. This release, divided in eight movements, blends together to form a fluid example of a collaboration that works. Unlike one of those collaborations where artists throw some sound files back and forth via the internet, this release is the fruit of various real-time recording and mixing sessions the two artists worked on in Tim Hecker's Montreal studio. The pieces on the record blend seamlessly into one another, creating a deeper listening experience, as is the case on a number of Tim Hecker's solo outings. While Baker and Hecker share a penchant for creating a powerful blend of ambient noise, Fantasma Parastasie finds the more dissonant elements tempered by an emphasis on ambience and even occasional melody. This release is available on CD in a digipak packaging." [label info]

"... But somehow, the sounds on Fantasma Parastasie manage to transcend, allowing glimpses of familiar sounds, hints of each
artist's own work, but woven into a whole that is unto itself, a gloriously abstract swirl of sound, longform landscapes of bliss and blur, of buzz and even roar, extended movements, in which the various elements drift and shimmer, overlap and intertwine, melodies and songcraft meet texture and soundscapery, guitars unfurl tangled melodies one second, bleary eyed chordal blurs the next, harmonics glisten and hover amidst deep soft swells, distortion and buzz build into fierce walls of blown out psychedelia, the sounds crumbling and
decaying before our ears, threatening to collapse, and in this fragile state lies the beauty of those sounds, effulgent, incandescent, but at the same time, blackening, beginning some unnamable process of inevitable decay. And eventually it does decay, those thick roiling sounds dissipate, leaving something soft and shimmery, glistening on a
bed of shed buzz and crumbled crush, floating heavenward, its notes and melodies catching the sunlight, and offering up prismatic reflections.
The strange thing about this record is that each song is separated into super short pieces, eleven in most cases, each part between 15 and 45 seconds (it's obviously much more noticeable on the cd). We tried listening to it on shuffle, presuming that was perhaps the intention, and while it still sounds cool, it was a bit too and took too much away from the overall effect. Instead, the various parts, played in order, slip seamlessly into one another, so much so that if you weren't watching the tracks tick by on player, you
wouldn't even notice.
The two work amazingly well together, bits of guitar, fragments of riffs, looped and repeated, swathed in thick smears of digital
crunch, of buzzing rumble, much of the record sounds like a heavier William Basinski, as if the two were experimenting with they own
Disintegration Loops. A few of the tracks are quite tranquil, abstract and minimal, but for the most part, Baker and Hecker seem more
interested in distressed sounds, in distortion, in pushing the limits, composing in the red, needles pegged, but taking what in other hands
could be harsh and abrasive, and crafting those sounds into something simultaneously soft and dreamlike. Even the various movements, drift
smoothly into one another the entire record almost like a single piece, expansive and varied and sprawling, epic and majestic, but
inward looking, introspective, melancholy, imbuing the crumbling crunch and blown out minimalism, with emotion, with distinctive mood, at once dark and mysterious, but also strangely hopeful.
The album closer and title track, is the only one not split up into movements, and is easily the most abstract, the most minimal, a
stretch of lugubrious low end, so soft, so weightless, a hushed musical murmur, no distortion, no buzz, just a simple swell and sway, drifting fading, and finally disappearing.
Absolutely breathtaking."" [Aquarius Records review]