Ian Mathias-Baker’s “Specific Gravity” is a six-track album that masterfully combines classical orchestration with modern electronic elements. Released on April 8th, 2024, this album showcases Mathias-Baker’s talent for weaving diverse musical influences into a cohesive and deeply emotional collection. The album opens with “Mythic Texts: I,” setting a melancholic tone that draws listeners into a reflective and poignant journey. The orchestral textures evoke the influence of Mahler, providing a rich, haunting soundscape. “Mythic Texts: II” continues this theme, blending baroque counterpoint with subtle electronic undertones. The composition is achingly beautiful, capturing a sense of profound grief and introspection. “Mythic Texts: III” further develops these motifs, with intricate string arrangements and ambient electronics creating a brittle, modernist beauty.

Ian Mathias-Baker

“Man Mowing the Lawn Across the Way from Me” is a standout track inspired by Charles Bukowski’s poem. Mathias-Baker’s minimalist, ambient interpretation uses an acoustic piano processed through delay lines and distorted electric guitars to mirror the poem’s existential menace. The dark imagery, accentuated by tremolando guitars, highlights the limited horizons of human existence. “This is the Way the World Ends” is based on T.S. Eliot’s “The Hollow Men.” This track is an orchestral kaleidoscope, blending dizzying electronic elements with classical motifs. The tension in the music only finds release in a banally dissonant cadence, with the spoken voice intoning Eliot’s chilling conclusion, “This is the way the world ends – not with a bang but a whimper,” over a kitsch pop groove.

“Mythic Texts: IV” concludes the album, serving as a tragic epilogue that hints at a utopian ideal tantalizingly out of reach. The impressionistic string elegy collapses into dissonance, leaving a lasting impact. As the music fades, a discordant theatre organ echoes, a final nod to the album’s unrelenting melancholy. “Specific Gravity” is a testament to Ian Mathias-Baker’s prowess as a composer and producer. His ability to blend classical influences with contemporary sounds results in an emotionally resonant album that defies easy categorization. Available across all platforms, this album is a significant contribution to contemporary music, offering listeners a deeply moving and thought-provoking experience.

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