Aidan Baker: Oneiromancer
Die Stadt

Given that the term Oneiromancer stands for “someone who divines through the interpretation of dreams,” it's perfectly natural that hallucinatory soundscaping dominates Aidan Baker's two-disc release. The Toronto-based musician created the first half using electric and bass guitars, drum machines, tape loops, and vocals while the second was generated entirely from electric guitar at an April 2005 live performance.

Five long tracks form a dream-like soundtrack on disc one. Hazy smears, rumbling clatter, and shuffles in “Wake Up” suggest a disturbed state so deep the dreamer, deaf to the command, resists arousal. Voices drift over an odd-metered drone in “Death Too Wrapped in Dream” and a sea of lulling ripples in “Dreams of Broken Glass”; even more immersive is “Bêtes Noires” where oceanic swells of congealing ambiance escalate in intensity over its 17-minute duration. The fluid style of Baker's pieces (“Do You Remember Me (From Your Dreams)” in particular) recalls Vladislav Delay's Entain but, time having softened the initially disorienting character if its sound, Baker's material proves easier to assimilate.

Though more minimal by comparison, disc two might actually be the more satisfying of the two, simply because one is better able to appreciate the range of sounds—scrapes, cries, clicks, drones—generated from a single instrument. A hypnotic mood pervades the set with Baker sculpting panoramic vistas, nowhere more magnificently than in the final two sections where blurry streams woozily waver and, in the final climax, raw screams wail over pealing clusters.

August 2006