Genre: Drone Ambient
Limitation: 300 Copies.
For those not already aware (and by now you should be), Crucial Bliss is a sublabel of renowned progressive rock / art noise / doom label Crucial Blast that releases limited pro CD-R runs of experimental and drone artists. This sublabel has been active as of 2004 with the first release being a compilation entitled “Shadows Infinitum” that featured artists Nadja, Dead Raven Choir, and Burning Star Core (Spencer Yeh project). All of you should know who Aidan Baker is by now and if you don't then shame on you! Aidan Baker has been releasing material under his name since as early as 2000 and is also one half of drone doom metal duo Nadja. He's worked with several labels, most notably .Angle.Rec., A Silent Place, and now Crucial Bliss.
Exoskeleton Heart is an hour long epic journey into an oblivion of beautifully distorted feedback. We consistently find ourselves floating through dronescapes of atmosphere that seem anything but real. Admittedly, I was a skeptic of this genre at first. Minimal music to me always seemed like a rip off, an excuse for less-than-gifted musicians to still make their cut on the underground. However, it has been through my experiences with Aidan Baker and Nadja, and other artists on the .Angel.Rec., Drone Records, and Equation Records lineups that I have discovered the fact that many of these artists are nothing short of geniuses and masters at their work. Minimal as it may be, Aidan Baker's soundscapes aren't an amateur attempt at fame. No, this distorted aural poetry is a strange and wonderous thing, an uplifting experience that proves that drone isn't just music, but is closer to art than any form of structured music.
Once again, Aidan Baker has completely knocked me off my high horse and right onto my arse. While I still find projects like Sunn O))) to be ludicrous and absolutely preposterous, its true that there is very unique and talented minimal music out there, waiting to lift you up and send you on your own journey through space and subconscious thoughts. It's uncanny to me that even in genres such as this the worst side of it is the commercialized side (I.e. Most of Stephen O'malley's projects.). Granted there are some great bands in the mainstream side like Boris and even at times instrumental sludgers Pelican, it just goes to show that the truly great music lies in the underground.