He's the lynchpin of a doom metal band that I'd take quite considerable pains to avoid. His singing is weedy, at best. &, at the risk of mining a rock-bottom superficiality low, he looks unnervingly like Cat Weasel.
& yet Aidan Baker has claimed more & more of my attention this year. Increasingly, he ranks alongside, or even ahead of, his collaborator Tim Hecker in my pantheon (both Canadian & global versions). His near-endless output seems to meet its match in my near-limitless appetite to hear it.
Baker's superbly soft, dense, shimmering sound, the deeply reflective, melancholic atmosphere he shapes it in, his vast, majestic sense of space & time, his evident intensity, commitment & unswervingness, his lack of classifiability (drone? ambient? post-rock?) - all of this feeds into my certainty about his uniqueness & importance.
In a rational world, it'd be Baker not U2 getting stick for his tax arrangements & over-weeningness. In this one, however, he & we have to settle for sonic riches instead...
> K/The Shape of Your Damage/Skein of Veins/Summer Chill (all extracts from I Wish Too, To Be Absorbed, Important)