Daniel Vujanic is a man of many appetites, and judging from his third release under the Baja moniker, he’s gorging himself on every one of them. Baja, like his other compatriots on the up-and-coming Other Electricities label, operates under the maxim that modern digital music is simply an aural Cuisinart, capable of blending anything and everything into anything and everything, reshaping genre into whatever is physically possible. In effect, Vujanic wants to rescue the word “fusion” from its deleterious history and in the process illustrate just how poetic can be the melding of mind and machine.
There is what seems to be an “effortlessly” created anthropomorphia about Wolfhour—a one-man digital orchestra, in Baja’s hands a battery of familiar instrumentation is mere putty ready to be sculpted into decidedly unfamiliar shapes, juxtaposed at will, wriggling to life. In reality, Baja’s programming skills are the obvious reasons why this array of glittering sampledelic ‘scapes bloom so vividly. Tracks often proceed with a sprightly gait, built upon dense interlocking layers of instruments constructed in tenacious fashion: “Phrem,” perhaps the album’s centerpiece and raison d’etre, redefines the opaque meanings generated by the appellation “post-rock”; symphonic and dizzyingly orchestrated, the ear must react quickly to discern what flickers by: ghost-particles of John Surman-ish sax, preening Pink Floyd-tinted guitars, the aberrant fluidity of Soft Machine’s modus operandi, the atmospheric contours wrought by folks as disparate as Eno, Talk Talk, David Sylvian. Throw it all against the wall and see what sticks…such an approach holds lesser soundsmiths in wretched stead, but Baja’s particular wrinkle is thoroughly considered, never less than lobe-tickling, and, unlike many recordings assembled in the silicon-deep editing bays of today’s mouse-keteers, demands repeated spins to reveal its exquisitely-layered pleasures.
Comments and Feedback: