[Reviewed by Peter Marks]
There’s a commonly held view that people mellow with age, they accept their limitations and come to an understanding of their place in the world. This does not apply to Baron Mordant, who for the last nineteen years has been pushing the boundaries of what electronic music can be composed of; there has been no facet, no angle and no technique left untouched. For all of his efforts he has gotten minimal (at best) recognition for just how much innovation and daring he has exhibited in all the time he’s been not only expressing himself artistically but also running a label.
It is no easy task to try and be a musician these days, especially an experimental one with a unique approach to sound design. People want to just digest and move on, no one lingers. The majority of ears out there would like nothing more than to have everyone just put out singles; who has time to ponder the finer points such as why those they tune into are the way they are. What makes them tick, as the saying goes. Surely there must be an underlying catalog of reasons for the end result being the creation that it is.
The Baron opts to leave all of this up to his listeners to work out, the majority of pieces on here are brusk and border on confrontational. If you’d been hoping for a softly ambient excursion then forget it, this is not an album you put on to relax. Sorry, double album as he’s included the entire thing (sans two tracks which are instrumental to begin with) in dub format; this allows one to really get into the nuts and bolts of the final release on the Mordant Music label. Oh, did I forget to mention that this is the last output he’s giving us, well now I have. You can either rejoice or grieve.
As for me, I’m numb.
Trying to come to grips with the fact The Baron will not be issuing anything else and that Mordant Music as a label are going inactive is a major shift in my aural world. Despite all the other middling, uninspired and half-assed dreck flooding the internet over the years, this man and his imprint have provided consistent quality. Not once in all this time has there been something he’s released that’s made me scratch my head and think “well, it was good while it lasted”. In the decade since his last solo album, his label’s accomplishments have been remarkable. Even before then what came from his arena pulled no punches, always striving to bring exposure to those nobody else would.
2000 – 2019, one hell of a ride.