Chad Baker taps his background as a filmmaker to support his instrumental debut as Death of the Soundman.
Anyone who looks to music sharing platforms like SoundCloud or Bandcamp to get their fix of new music will by now have noticed an incredible rise is ambient, electronic, drone and noise releases over the past year or more. Here in New Brunswick, there are new recordings – singles, EPs and full albums worth of contemporary anti-pop – being released on quite literally a weekly basis. The range of sound is staggering, blending improv, scored compositions, field recordings and all points in between. Together these sounds define a massive scene comprised of bedroom composers and sound collage artists who appear to operate with little interaction and next to no desire to take their music to a live audience. As a result, discovering these recordings usually requires a deliberate and concentrated effort.
Composer and filmmaker Chad Baker could easily be considered part of this truly underground scene. His debut, Never to See the Light of Day, released in April of this year under the name Death of the Soundman is a perfect window into this largely unknown community. Ambient in context, Baker’s compositions are rooted in his background as a filmmaker, conjuring complex moods and emotional textures not unlike an original motion picture soundtrack to a non-existent film.
One thing that may set Baker apart from the pack is his interest in combining his backgrounds in support of one another. Of the countless recordings already mentioned, few are given additional support through video production. This week, Baker has shared this first video from his debut album.
“My intention is to sort of create one woman’s dance with reality, using a couple different camera perspectives,” said Baker. “I hope it translates to people.
“Me and [dancer] Lila Gorey-McSorley talked a lot about the dance, and had a few different ways to film it initially. But after doing some camera tests we ended up really stripping it down, even to the point where you can see the equipment,” he said.
“Neither of us had really done something like this, so it was exciting and nerve wracking at the same time. I had always admired a lot of the work that the Chemical Brothers did in their videos, whether it was their work with Michel Gondry, or their more recent work with Ruffmercy, and I guess this is my half ass attempt at that.”