Here is a collaborative endeavour from drone specialist Aidan Baker (better known as one half of duo Nadja) and experimental electronic sound artist Tim Hecker. And this builds on both artists creative strengths in an almost sym-biotic way that ebbs and flows between each contributors respective fields in a master class of joint effort.
The realm of ambient and drone music is something of an acquired taste to most but for those willing to submit themselves to its transcendent depth, this record is a shining example of its immersive scale. Whilst the genre poses many obstacles in the shape of artsy pretension and visual style that normally surpasses the musical content, it’s always pleasing to come across those that have an understanding of dynamic structure. Even more difficult to attain is the ability to reflect emotion upon the listener through sound without the direct power of the human voice or repeated traditional note patterns and riffs.
This album starts off with a mixture of electronic noise and synthesised tone in a slow drone, powered by building organ rhythms. A lot of the dynamic within the music is built behind the mixing desk as various musical and noise components are mixed up and down as they swell in volume and prominence. You can hear the distinct musical elements of the two composers as they feed from each others spiraling forms as they billow in and out.
The meditative calm then takes precedent on tracks such as ‘Auditory Spirits’ and ‘Dream of the Nightmare’ which is when the collaboration is at its strongest. Whilst ambient/drone music is limited by its own discarding of the rulebook making it a rather tight niche, it does on occasion throw up the odd release that intrigues. For those already interested in the field or Nadja’s prolific excursions into recorded sound this is an interesting record and one that may trigger your curiosity into the realm of the electronic.
Scribed By: Andrew Sloan