30 April 2009

Montreal Mirror reviews "A Picture of a Picture"

Aidan Baker/thisquietarmy
A Picture of a Picture (Killer Pimp)

The pairing of Nadja’s Baker and local one-man drone-meister thisquietarmy recalls the first meetings of Brian Eno and Robert Fripp on this ethereal, dense and haunting masterstroke. Brightness and hope take up the first half of the record before some seriously dark ambience rears its head on the remaining two tracks. A truly glorious listen. 8.5/10

Trial Track: “Imagistic Continuity” (Johnson Cummins)


22 April 2009

Aidan Baker & thisquietarmy / A Picture of a Picture: charted #1 on CKUT this week


Top 30 compiled and specialty charts (beatbox, jazz, rpm, world, loud) compiled weekly.

Listed as artist - album - label. Canadian content in bold.
ckut top 30 april 21 2009

aidan baker & thisquiet army – a picture of a picture – killer pimp
land of kush – against the day – constellation
bell orchestre – as seen through windows – arts & crafts
julie dorion – i can wonder what you did with your day – jagjaguwar
lhasa – lhasa – audiogram
various – eccentric soul: smart's place – numero
mountains – choral – thrill jockey
neko case – middle cyclone – anti
tim hecker – an imaginary country – kranky
dan deacon – bromst – carpark
isreal m – nareah – aagoo
gun outfit – dim light – ppm
pink mountaintops – outside love – jagjaguwar
olenka and the autmn lovers – s/t – independent
neil young – fork in the road – reprise CC
shout out out out – reintegration time – normals welcome
pixel – the drive – raster noton
aun – motorsleep – alien8
buraka som sistema – black diamond – fabric/enchufada
torngat - la petite nicole - alien8
bonnie prince billy – beware – matador
paul cargnello – bras coupe – anubis
mastodon - crack the sky - reprise/relapse
numinous – vipassana(the music of Joseph c. Philips jr) - innova
pj harvey & john parish - a woman a man walked by - island
darwin's bitch – ore – digitalis
michael snow, alan licht, aki onda – five a's, two c's...., one w – disques victo
lotus plaza – the floodlight collective – kranky
storsviet nix noltes – royal family divorce – fat cat
joel plaskett – three – universal

Thank you CKUT 90.3FM, Montreal's best English radio. That's pretty cool.


Not so cool is Aidan Baker & thisquietarmy's Orange EP on ebay for an outrageous $75.00 here.

19 April 2009

Europe Tour Itinerary June 1-21, 2009

This will pretty much be my itinerary with Nadja for the Europe tour in June. Much to prepare for this as June will come hitting like a storm light. Two legs: 1) West of Berlin: Germany + Italy + France + Holland; 2) East of Berlin: Czech Republic + Poland.

Sorry about the other countries, I tried very hard to get shows in Belgium and Luxembourg (yes, I am my own agent), it just did not work out. Next time. As usual, the UK is a world apart, it will have to be done another time as well.

14 April 2009

Aquarius Records write-up on A Picture of a Picture

BAKER, AIDAN & THISQUIETARMY A Picture of A Picture (Killer Pimp)

Long overdue rematch between Mr. Aidan Baker, who is as you probably know also of Nadja, and Thisquietarmy, whose previous collaboration, Orange, cause quite a stir around here. And it still gets a lot of play at home, it's the perfect hazy moonlight drifting off to never never land sort of dreamy drone record. Almost like M83 with everything removed but that glorious soft buzz. Sorry if you missed out that one, it was limited to 200 copies and is long gone, but the good news is, that A Picture Of A Picture sounds like it could be part two. In fact it sounds like it could very well have been culled from the same sessions that produced Orange.

Four long long tracks, each a slow swirling amorphous cloud of gauzy half melodies and thick layered textures, the sound slips from gritty and pixilated, to glistening and soft focus in a heartbeat. These two soundscapers are a fantastic match, it's really impossible to tell who's doing what, and where the work of one ends and the other begins, and it hardly matters, as the two together have created something ethereal and ephemeral, a sun dappled drift, equal parts minimal new age hush, and warm languid dreamdrone shimmer. A few moments find the duo ramping it up, but even then, it's only loud or heavy or intense, relative to the rest of this record, which does in fact spend most of its time hovering, whispering, floating lazing, gradually changing color and shape, it's the musical version of watching clouds drift across a brilliant blue sky, so tranquil and mesmerizing and meditative, even the occasional storm cloud, only serves to infuse the afternoon's siesta with some greys and browns, which perfectly balance the rest of the record's endlessly prismatic palette. So gorgeous. Definitely a new nighttime sonic soporific. Released on Killer Pimp, who also released the Dead Letters Spell Out Dead Words cd, reviewed elsewhere on this week's list (psst... it's one of the Records Of The Week!).


13 April 2009

Ontario Easter Weekend Mini-Tour Recap

This all happened because of Elayne from NYC, one of my favorite person in the world. She had planned to spend that weekend in Toronto and had asked me to join her. Only, I am not so fond of Toronto. As a compromise, combined with gig-a-holism, I booked some shows to play as a way to pass by Toronto and hang out with her for a bit. I was actually overwhelmed of the choices and opportunities that were given to me, only 2 weeks prior. First of all, thank you Cailen, Kyle, Brad, Dorian and Mike to have helped out with getting two shows at the last minute like this. Basically, I drove to Toronto after work on Thursday, and met up with Elayne. Friday morning was a lame/fun quest for free wi-fi, which we ended up paying for + coffee, breakfast, and record shopping at Soundscapes. So here we are!

We also went to Niagara Falls early afternoon with another Toronto friend. However, I couldn't stay for very long as I had to leave for Hamilton to pick up Ryan/Electroluminescent. We headed to London and made it to the East Arts Village Co-op (EVAC) where we were greeted by the guys from the collective. It was a cool artist/gallery space, with a big jam room in the back, which used to be an old auto workshop. I was treated for some awesome curry chicken + mango juice at the Rickshaw thai restaurant in front by Matti, next to the Above Average Hair Care.

Elayne & friend came to join us as the show was about to start. There was a good crowd, the small space was quite full of people and they seemed really appreciative of the music. Exit 2012 played really well, it was the EVAC people, i.e. Cailen, Lido, Eleanor, Kevin and Mike, and their set was quite refreshing, I hope they record their jams. We slept at the space, with the fire place on for heating. The next day we hung out at the farmer's market for a couple of hours, where we treated it as our own personal home. We had coffee and cheap greasy breakfast there. There was also a flea market on the 2nd floor. I later bought an orange for 50 cents, good old-fashionned Dutch-style apple fritters for everyone (1 dollar each) and an experimental cupcake (also 1 dollar).

Windsor. It was cold & windy, and the streets were depressively empty by the time we got there, so we went straight to the waterfront to hang out with Cecile.

However, by midnight, the streets were filled with loud drunk clubbing girls in short skirts, passing by and around the venue while we were playing, and after we were playing. It was quite surreal and weird for some reasons, just because it did not make sense in the environment of an indie post-rock/ambient show. That venue is the Phog Lounge, which were voted the best music venue in Canada by CBC Radio 3, at everyone's surprise! Our show was also broadcasted live on the internet by Tom, the co-owner of the Phog, who is by far, the coolest venue guy in Canada. Beware of his danger juice however, aka the 8% stout on tap, which is amazingly tasty and addictive. A little late twitter/facebook announcement brought us a couple of dozens of viewers around the world, including Sofi, Shaun (DAD drummer), Shane, Z, Neil/Naw, Mike/Sales Dept/Beef Terminal, Dylan, friends from back home in Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and Hawaii! It was wicked as we could also chat, IRC-style while watching the performances, that was quite cool. Electroluminescent possibly played the best set I've seen from him and I think he was pretty happy about it too. What Seas, What Shores played great as well, I was pleasantly surprised and I look forward them coming to Montreal in July.

Close to 24 hours on the road this weekend, that was a good practice run for Europe in a couple of months, except that in 24 hours we would've done like 6 countries or something.

8 April 2009

Easter shows in London & Windsor, Ontario

With good friday off this week, I will be hitting the road tomorrow for the long weekend, be playing at the East Village Arts Co-op (EVAC) in London, Ontario --- Friday April 10th with my friends from Exit 2012 and Electroluminescent.

Will also play at the Phog Lounge in Windsor, Ontario --- Saturday April 11th with my friends from What Seas, What Shores and Electroluminescent again. Should be a great weekend ahead! Looking forward to it.

7 April 2009

Sunday Afternoon Drones, Vol. 1

Last sunday was. I would like publicly to thank everyone that have attended throughout the day, and everyone that played. I cannot recall a bad set nor a bad moment throughout the day.

Hoefizer, Cloudscapes and I were the first to arrive at an already packed Cagibi at 2:30pm, filled with people & their laptop, studying. We quietly set up, while I asked Cloudscapes to pass out the nice bookmark-flyers that I made to let people know what was going on... I felt like we were invading the room, and imposing a sonic attack to the patrons, without them knowing or wanting. But Hoefizer kicked it off quite nicely. It was nerve-wrecking, but the people did not leave, nor did not seem to be disturbed. In fact, they looked like they quite enjoyed it... the whole point of the event was to have live ambient music playing while the Cagibi café was up and running with their regular patrons coming in and going. Ambient can be passive as it can be active, the choice is up to the audience, whether they choose to participate or not, that is the theoretic beauty of ambient/drone.

I went on second. By then, Aun, de.i.te, half of the Montreal Nintendo Orkestar had arrived for support and camaraderie. I played a totally improvised drone-set for about 40 minutes, with a board that I had set up a few hours prior. Here's a youtube extract of my performance, made by Alberick:

Then de.i.te, Cloudscapes & Maggot Breeder went on. More people came by. Everyone was respectful throughout the sets. It was a very cozy atmosphere and people commented how great the event was. By then, I already had request of making it a monthly, but that would be quite a commitment. The Montreal Nintendo Orkestra, Anti-School Year & Aun followed... and it was dark outside, which was quite fitting. Shane Whitbread & Electroluminescent closed out the night. By then, everyone was too tired, and Ghidrah chose to postpone their world premiere to a better time in the future.

All in all, it was quite a successful and special event. But with some 10 hours of drone/ambient, my brain got pretty mushed and I was physically and mentally exhausted. The bar is set high however, and Vol. 2 will have quite a task to maintain the quality of the event, to be followed. Some people complained about the general overall sound, but Cagibi is not reknown to have the best P.A. However, their big windows facing St-Viateur, the decaying mould of the ancient Esperanza pharmacy look of the 70s still make the cozy atmosphere unbeatable. Nonetheless, stay tuned for the next edition.