Aidan Baker. If you're not familiar with Mr. Baker's work (shame on you, seriously), he is an amazing solo artist, creating lush, dramatic, and beautiful ambient soundscapes with a variety of collaborators/co-conspirators. Transcendent stuff. He is perhaps best know for being one half of Nadja, but has also plays or has played in Infinite Light Ltd.,Arc and Whisper Room. Aidan also runs Broken Spine Productions, releasing and distributing his projects' releases. The Broken Spine shop is here, and the Bandcamp is here.
A List of Recently Acquired Records
Since we moved to Berlin, I’ve been separated from my music collection by an ocean...so I’ve been using that as an excuse to start a new and/or duplicate music collection. And given the prevalence of vinyl here, most of my recent musical acquisitions have been on wax:
Circle - Infektio
We played with Circle at festival last winter in Tallinn, Estonia. We’d seen them once before, a few years ago now in Austin, Texas, and I remember enjoying it—but this recent show was really something special, jam packed with space-y kraut- and prog-rock tunes complete with weird interpretative dance moves.
Jane Siberry - The Speckless Sky
There must have existed some licensing deal between Germany and Canada in the ‘80s, as I keep finding albums by fairly obscure Canadian groups here (Chalk Circle, Bruce Cockburn, The Northern Pikes, Margaret O’Hara) in the 1€ bin—and presumably they’re so cheap because it’s fairly unlikely anyone but a thirtysomething Canadian would know and/or appreciate these artists...I prefer Siberry’s The Walking or No Borders Here, but The Speckless Sky still has some good tunes on it.
Big Black - Songs About Fucking & Pig Pile
I already have a copy of Songs About Fucking on vinyl wasting away in some relative’s basement in Toronto...but it wasn’t hard to resist the urge to pick this up again.
Pink Floyd - Ummagumma
I’ve already got this on vinyl too—it’s always been one of my favourite Floyd albums. I first picked it up in my early teens, having only heard Dark Side of the Moon previously—which I liked well enough, but wasn’t totally taken with it—and Ummagumma really surprised and quickly enamoured me with its experimentation and weirdness and the extended jams of the live tracks.
The Cure - Seventeen Seconds
Faith, Pornography, and Seventeen Seconds are really the best albums by The Cure. Sure, Disintegration is good too, but really only if you’re feeling excessively mopey...
The Birthday Party - Prayers On Fire & Junkyard
As much as I like Nick Cave’s solo work (or at least the majority of it), I still think he’s never topped The Birthday Party.
Drive Like Jehu - Yank Crime
Classic 90s math-rock/progressive hardcore, or whatever you want to call it. Still sounds surprisingly fresh.
His Hero Is Gone - Monument to Thieves & Fifteen Counts of Arson
It’s amazing how many imitators these guys have spawned (see also Fugazi and Isis and Mogwai and...well, I could go on) and how few of them can compare to the original.
Neu! - 4LP Boxset
I found this listed online at what must have been a mistakenly discounted price and, while I’d never really felt the need to own this box before, it was so cheap I figured why not. And listening to Neu! (along with the likes of Can, Ash Ra Tempel, and Amon Duul) makes me feel like I’m properly exploring the Germanic roots of a lot of the music I make and listen to these days and the musical heritage of the country where I now live. Similar reasoning—the Berlin ex-pat experience—often has me listening to Bowie’s Low and Heroes and Iggy Pop’s The Idiot as well...