John T. Baker Makes it Slow, Low-Key and Substantial

Ohm (AmpientMusic.com) will require either intense patience or distraction.

There’s no getting around the fact that Ohm is a low-key album. That doesn’t mean, however, that there’s nothing going on. Each of the album’s long tracks—from seven to 15 minutes—unfolds at low volume and with the pace of an iceberg, but each is also marked by pulses of sound (mostly processed and looped guitar) that function as both melody and rhythm, with occasional snatches of field recordings from inside and outside Baker’s house. It will require either intense patience or distraction to make it all the way through, but either approach—as humming, gently shifting background music or as the object of close scrutiny with headphones—is rewarding. As Baker puts it in the liner notes, “Keep focusing. Breathe deep.”

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