Aidan Baker / Faith Coloccia / Jon Mueller - See Through - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Aidan Baker / Faith Coloccia / Jon Mueller - See Through

by Steve Rhodes Rating:7 Release Date:2019-04-26
Aidan Baker / Faith Coloccia / Jon Mueller - See Through
Aidan Baker / Faith Coloccia / Jon Mueller - See Through

Perhaps the busiest person in music, Aidan Baker has produced a huge number of releases over the past couple of decades, as a soloist, part of the group Nadja and many releases in collaboration with like-minded artists. On See Through he has teamed up with vocalist Faith Coloccia and percussionist Jon Mueller to produce another impressive collection, where patience and texture are often key elements, that again cements Aidan's reputation as being a prime mover and leader in his field.

High pitched, ambient, sustained noises launch 'Yellow', like Yellow Magic Orchestra or Aphex Twin in his more restrained modes, before the drums thunder in and Faith's deeply-treated vocals soar like a choral instrument in and out of the track. The track is instantly hypnotic, as cymbals and other background sounds enter and depart proceedings in a consistent fashion. Faith's vocals eventually come to the fore, leading us into a hazy ambience, that though fairly simple in its construction is an ethereal and relaxing number, and a nice opener to the album.

The tone instantly darkens on 'Repeat' as brooding harmonics and mantric, African-influenced percussion point the way, with Jim's cymbals regularly punctuate the mood. Like the opener, repetition is key and is almost trance-like in its setup. Faith's beautiful vocals appear along with the addition of strings effects, feeling akin to Dead Can Dance, especially when the percussion re-enters the room.

Electronic noises meander in a sequential form and the drums are lighter in touch on 'Summer', as deeply-chorded keys and treated vocals lift the songs into a celestial atmosphere. Fractured, background feedback noises slowly gain traction, adding further depth to the song, in the vein of Flying Saucer Attack, with the occasional throb of bass to awaken the listener from their mesmerism. The track takes a detour half-way through, as pulsing electronic noises are left alone before distorted piano, occasional keys and then Jon's drums and cymbals set the pace. Faith's treated vocals seem more disparate and are used more dramatically and cinematically.

'See Through' certainly errs on the experimental side, as unsettling electronics, backed by Jim's cymbals and a lightly-thundering tone lead the way in a fractious opening. As the track develops the drums become heavier and more insistent, rumbling on uneasily like an oncoming train, as Faith's vocals take more of a set-back position and squalls of treated guitar begin to emerge. It is a challenging, encompassing listen for the full 11+ minutes but still intrigues and plays an import part of the make-up of the album.

Treated, plucked high-end guitar and drums create the much-needed space and relief from the heavy relentlessness of the previous track on 'Mauve', with Faith's vocals soaring around the edges and in/out of the song, becoming more expressive and clearly lyric-wise part way through. Another track that relies on atmospherics and delivers with aplomb

'Harmony In Distance' returns us an apprehensive edge, as heavier electronics, like a humming electronic sub-station, that feel industrial in tone and consistency, are joined by Jon's tom-tom focussed drumming, directing us into a darker, primal closer than gets under your skin and pressures your senses. Temporarily relieved by Faith's angelic vocals pushing the instrumentation out to the fringes, the percussion eventually forces its way back into the fore, before it itself departs, just leaving rattling tones and subtly throbbing electronic pulses to close out the track.

Though Aidan has been at the forefront of experimental ambient music for the past two decades, this is the first I've heard a release without his guitar making a central appearance at least some part through it and it does not lose any credence without it. A great collaboration, that demands repeated listens and increasingly rewards each time and one I hope will be repeated in the future.

Comments (0)

There are no comments posted here yet
Related Articles