(AmbiEntrance 5/2003) In a live improvisational performance (from the Ambient Ping Series), the bakers' experimental guitar and piano are joined by the even-more-experimental essences of bloor's "amplified metal" (a single snippet of a photo reveals big screwheads and a clamp interlaced with long silverl springs... is this hardware-store-nightmare his contraption?!). Lightly buzzing textures are overshadowed by sporadic, seemingly gigantic, metallic rippling in pentrametrical (17:25), setting a spooky mood! Gradually, more-musical apparitions begin to flow through the strangeness, though even those apparently-guitar-born sounds are hardly typical, trickling and radiating, amongst other acrobatics. Ominous metallic rumblings and glares seem to bounce from the walls of some forgotten grotto as interlaced rhyme scheme (30:05) begins its deep, very roughened descent into a bizarre-dream-world of indefinable activities; roiling mechanical-esque contours are intermittently topped with appearances of guitar and what seems to be crazily stroked piano wire... while I enjoy the more "incidental" moments, the periods of 3-way one-upmanship re: wild-noise-making can be trying, though are thankfully offset by mellower moments where actual beauty shines on the gleaming string tones, even as the subsurface quakes. A third (20-minute) track, tertiary, takes a detour via adroitly mutated boogie woogie (and much more) keyboarding which slips into a feedback fogbank, laced with grinding iron sounds... awesome powers rage within the billowing blackness (whose intensity reaches cataclysmic proportions before melting into softer (though still scarred) after-the-storm environments... sweet!). Overall, quite out-there, but I'm truly intrigued by some of the amazing and unusual arrangements, even the noisier ones in this case, thus an ears-up - David J. Opdyke
(Dead Angel no. 59) This is amazingly hot shit. Recorded live from the board last October at the Ambient PIng Series in Toronto, Canada, three swell musicans steeped in minimalism and drone, an amazing sound that's simultaneously right up close (hear those graceful piano notes, woo!) and a million miles away (float on that cosmic drone, heewack!), and three insanely long songs that are like watching the sky explode while glaciers slowly melt. Three musicians, three songs ("pentametrical," "interlaced rhyme scheme," and "tertiary"), three otherworldly excursions into the great beyond, far beyond the wall of sleep, far past the frozen and empty castles of Kadath, far into the void where the music of the elder gods causes worlds to shatter when they're just tuning up. The sound of eternity, of elemental forces and epochs too vast and seemingly endless for the insects populating this planet to grasp. It's only on "tertiary" that they open with something more closely resembling traditional music and tempos, built mostly around an energetic piano... but eventually it, too, is overpowered by the dark rumbling of the Elder Gods and everything goes deep and endless, glacial and vast, with a sound like reverberations and terrifying rattles in the ice house. What the world needs is this combo on the same bill with Corrupted for an evening of truly synapse-frying slow-motion dark-ambient doom. Seek this out and gaze with awe and terror. Build your shrine on your own time. - RKF
(Vital Weekly no. 385) On the disc by Baker, Baker and Bloor it seems to me that Aidan Baker is the most important player. His name popped up recentely on a whole number of solo discs. He plays various instruments, but here it is the guitar that he is playing. His brother Tomas plays piano and Alan Bloor (also known as Knurl and Pholde) plays amplified metal. The three lenghty pieces were recorded at the Ambient Ping Series in Toronto last October. Like to be expected this is a work of improvised music, but in an ambient context. 'Tertiary', the final track on this disc opens with free styled piano sounds (played on the keys, not the piano interieur) and is the most jazzy thing on the CD, a diametrical opposite from 'Pentametrical', the opening piece, with its gliding tones of scraping metal, occassional eerie piano notes and a guitar that is drenched in sound effects. In the middle piece, 'Interlaced Rhyme Scheme', both worlds seem to be united. It's great to hear these three entirely different pieces, or rather approaches to their material, come together. It's a disc of a strange combination of ambient music (mainly in it's approaches for sound effects) and improvised playing - a nice surprise! - Frans de Waard
(Indieville 6/30/2003) The Terza Rima CDR is a recording of a live performance from the Ambient Ping Series, which took place in (my very hometown of) Toronto, Canada. It is divided into three pieces, none of which are shorter than seventeen minutes. The first piece is the eerie "Pentrametrical," which takes a glitchy, metallic sound and lays a dark ambiance over it. When the sparse piano gradually comes in, the resulting noise is slightly more tuneful, yet still creepy and spaced out. Eventually it turns into a mysterious, almost psychedelic sound sculpture that feels as if it could be the score to a very offbeat film (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas came to mind). The second track is "Interlaced Rhyme Scheme," a thirty minute epic that spans through ambiance, sampling, and almost jazzy piano playing. It's an amazing, accomplished piece that's both bizarre and mesmerizing. The final piece is "Tertiary," which starts off with frantic piano doodling, but then dissolves into ambient guitar abstraction, only to disintegrate further into a throbbing electronic / piano tinkling finale that slowly fades into silence, followed by the restrained clapping of a disembodied audience. Genius. Altogether, this is a terrific release of experimental improv and ambient avant-garde music. Those interested in the genres are encouraged to give Terza Rima a try, they won't be disappointed. - Matt Shimmer
(Touching Extremes) This time Aidan Baker is flanked by his father Thomas on piano and by Alan Bloor on "amplified metal". As you could guess, being this a live improvisation, this set sounds pretty different from the droning walls the Canadian grew us accustomed to, even if his loops appear quite often during the three pieces. Most of everything, the atmospheres here get near to that English branch of contemporary electroacoustic music headed by Morphogenesis and the like. Basic foundations develop continuously, only to be broken by shattering metallic crunches; seldom a fuzzy, almost out of tune guitar line keeps company to percussive chordal work on piano's keys and interiors. In the third track Thomas Baker surprises us beginning with an almost Keith Tippett-like improvisation, only to be back meshed with Aidan and Alan in more powerful scenes. This is no music for self-satisfaction, rather a good exchange of impressions among three odd visionaries. - Massimo Ricci
(Neo-Zine 3/10/2004) 3 tracks (17 -30 mins. Each!) I’m listening to this while watching the psychedelic visualizations from the Windows Media Player, and it really fits together. This recording uses electric guitar, piano, and amplified metal to create an improvised masterpiece of hallucinogenic ambient space-time-dimension music. This is bizarre. It really tears you between the familiar sounds and the great unknown. The swelling and swirling of this recording is like a living black hole on the outer rim, welling with energy and strength but dark and mysterious. This is ever expansive, wholly indeterminable, alien, and quite likely to do the unexpected. I enjoyed every numbing second. - C.H.C.
(Aiding & Abetting no. 265) Three lengthy live pieces recorded from the sound board. That's about as pure as it gets. Aidan Baker plays guitar, Thomas Baker plays piano and Alan Bloor manipulates "amplified metal." Oh yeah, it's one of those. The label ought to have tipped you off, of course. Public Eyesore traffics in all sorts of music, but all of it is significantly off the beaten path. I think that's why I like their stuff so much. In any case, these guys create an astonishing atmosphere. It's hard to believe that three people are creating this stuff in real time. Contemplative, yes, but in an intense way. These guys set up recurring rhythms and ideas and then play with them. Not loops (this is live and supposedly not automated), but rather variations on a theme. Lots of variations and many, many themes. I'll be honest; I can't stand listening to this stuff in a live setting. Puts me to sleep. But slap a recording like this on my home stereo and my senses jump. Everything becomes more real. I can see things I've been missing. Orgasms get better. I guess it's like crack for dorks or something. Anyway, I like it this way, and I like what these guys do. And that's more than good enough for me. - Jon Worley
(Ampersand Etcetera 7/2005) Three tracks recorded live with guitar, piano and amplified metal (respectively). The first two tracks (Pentametrical, Interlaced rhyme scheme) are more ambient atmospheric echoing drift, percussions with scraped guitar and piano, electric guitar, passing piano, rumbling softness, swirls and undercurrent with edgy touches - lovely ambience created. The third, Tertiary, is much livelier and jazzy - piano riffs opening it, a jazzy feel as the piano improvises, guitar twangs, into echoey dark percussives, some dirty guitar before a return to lighter piano and a guitar wash scrape delicate ending. A nicely balanced one. - Jeremy Keens