A house in Sri Lanka

The ever-prolific Aidan Baker teams up with Idklang on In The Red Room (KARL RECORDS KR021), a single vinyl LP which arrived here April 2015. As much as I enjoyed Baker’s Nadja work, it’s been ten years now since Truth Becomes Death created its overloaded glue-pot of heavy stoner-ish art-drone distorto doom, and since then few of his solo or collaborative efforts have made much impression on my thickened noggin. Red Room has its moments though; Idklang (i.e. Markus Steinkeller, the Austrian guitarist from Artkis/Air) contributes thoughtful guitar passages which, while lacking in any real power, at least add some texture and grit as a counterpoint to Baker’s default setting, which is to smooth out as many rough edges as possible through languid processing. We’re invited to hear everything from psychedelia to krautrock by way of ambient electronica in this record, an ambitious scope for sure. While the surface sound is not unpleasant, there’s very little structure. Be prepared for two 20-minute episodes of uncertain noodling. The title references a short story by Paul Bowles.