Friday, November 21, 2008

Aidan Baker & Tim Hecker - Fantasma Parastasie

Aidan Baker & Tim Hecker
Fantasma Parastasie
(10.2008, Alien8)
Verdict = A little less than the sum of its parts

The coupling of Aidan Baker and Tim Hecker on record is pretty much a dream team scenario. Baker is a propelling force of the pulsating drone doom outfit Nadja and Hecker stands as one of the elder statesman of glitchy free form electronics. So, it goes without saying that Fantasma Parastasie brings some pretty astrological expectations to the table. Right out of the gate, Baker and Hecker are immediately recognizable. With a shared penchant for beautiful, slow drifting chords soaked in noise, Fantasma Paratasie lays it on thick…literally. Layers of rough drones shifting like ancient titans squirming in their sleep propel you from one track to the next. With a sort of overcast mood throughout, the duo’s flourishes are spare - a lazy pedal affected guitar here, some electronic pulsations there. All pretty standard stuff from both camps. A tried and true formula that has been aped to infinity. All in all, Fantasma Parastasie is a solid release (Baker and Hecker are pretty much immune to subpar albums), but in light of those astronomical expectations…unfortunately, the album doesn’t quite meet them. Sure, leveling high expectations can be a bit unfair. However, I can’t help but retain an itching feeling that not only could either of these two experimental luminaries produce this album all by themselves, they could probably make it a whole lot better. Ambient drone is simply not the arena where above average releases can still shine through. I don’t get too critical too often, but I was hoping for a bit more from a collaboration between such highly regarded artists.

-Mr. Thistle

Stream Fantasma Parastasie


Justin Snow said...

Boooo! That sucks. I was hoping this would be like Record Of The Decade or something. That's pretty disappointing to hear. Oh well, at the very least, we now have another record from both Aidan and Tim and that's never a bad thing.

Mr. Thistle said...

Well it's not bad. I know a lot of people who like it wuite a bit so you should still probably check it out.