NIMON / NOMIN: The King is Dead / Long Live the King CD & Digital Download Ant-Zen
Keith (Keef) Baker has been a very busy individual since closing the lid on his electronic self-titled output, with his Nimon project that approaches music from an altogether more serious tone. As the follow up to last years ‘Drowning in Good Intentions’ (dedicated to his mother who passed away), I can only feel for Baker as his father also left this world, resulting in his latest work ‘The King is Dead’ (which also includes a slip to download it’s partner album ‘Long Live the King’). Life can deliver many a cruel blow, but I feel Keith has approached this with humility on both counts, with what can only be the most cathartic way to deal with such episodes in life’s journey.
As the distant chamber reverberations of ‘When a Home is no Longer Anyone’s Home’ rise, it is all too easy to feel the immediacy of Baker’s grief. However, underneath the ranging and soaring waves of guitar led ambience, there is undoubtedly, memories of greater and happier times that I am sure are led with flagships of photographs on the walls, representing the existence of an individual who brought a great deal of happiness; and in reality, no matter how sad it is when someone is torn away from us, they never truly are, as memories always live on in the smiles on those faces forever frozen in time.
‘The King is Dead’, whilst travelling the same corridors as its predecessor, speaks with an ever-so-slight difference in tone, reflecting the feelings towards the personality of his father, whilst no less as loving as those towards his mother. It is hard to break down individual tracks, as once again this is best consumed as a whole listening experience; where there are inevitable nods at the likes of Christian Fennesz musically, whilst retaining the individuality of Keith’s drone-work and programming skills.
Cleverly, Baker has produced a counter-album in the form of ‘Long Live the King’, that is meant to be played simultaneously along-side its CD released brother. This has been done before, but not by many and takes a great deal of gusto and bravery to attempt such a feat.
Together (yes I managed it), this digital download younger sibling fills out the (not so evident) gaps of TKID that you miss when playing it as a sole item. Inevitably as a result, LLTK is a strange beast if you play it as a separate entity, hanging on the darker crannies of the ambient scale; providing an altogether peculiar and almost psychotropic experience.
The culmination of effort made with this latest output deserves attention and a round of applause from those that make music themselves; and whilst it would do a disservice to his debut (and indeed everything that it represents) to score this higher, it would be unfair not to recognise the sheer toil involved in producing something of this nature. Looking to the future I sincerely hope Mr Baker has other (and happier) avenues to focus his attention on when it comes to producing future work under this banner.