- Warren Pratten - guitar, synths
- Owen Curnoe - synths, drums, programming
- Mark Favro - synths, samples
Baku was comprised of Owen Curnoe, Mark Favro, and Warren Pratten. All three had been a part of the London music scene since early 1980's; playing in a variety of bands playing mostly original material.
Baku was originally formed in 1986 by Owen and Warren. Inspired by film soundtracks such as Vangelis's "Blade Runner", Baku was intended to be a side project to produce "movie music" for Owen's short films.
In 1996, Baku was reformed when Warren, Owen, and Mark along with a fourth began playing together under that name. First public performance was May 17, 1996 at the Forest City Gallery in London. Baku continued as a three piece band after that.
Baku was focused on creating original electronic music. Baku was formed with the intention of allowing the members to have complete freedom to experiment by exploring the possibilities of creating music from all electronic and acoustic devices at their disposal. Baku's music was created using traditional musical instruments such as guitars, drums, synthesizers, samplers, drum machines, sequencers, and voice. These sounds were blended with less traditional musical sounds such as banging metal, machine noises, ambient outdoor sounds, taped sources etc. These sound sources were then run through a battery of effects such as distortion, digital delays, flangers, phasers, reverb, and pitch shifters.
Baku's music incorporated both a programmed and live element. Typically a series of programmed sequences are developed ahead of time. These sequences are then "played" live while other instruments were played live over top. The result is recorded in 2 or 4 tracks. Very little overdubbing was used.
A large collection of music was created by the band. The music varied a great deal, drawing somewhat subconsciously from our musical influences and our moods. Baku produced music that has elements of ambient, atmospheric, minimalism, techno, industrial, and noise.
Significance of the band name
Baku is the capital city of the former Soviet republic of Azerbaijan. In 1922 Baku was the site of a concert which incorporated noise and natural sounds. The instruments for this concert included factory whistles, artillery, machine gunners, aircraft, and the foghorns of the Caspian fleet. This experiment in sound composition is described by Andy Mackey in his book Electronic Music: The Instruments, The Music & The Musicians. The spirit of this concert intrigued and impressed us and the band took the name Baku as a result.
Baku contributed a song "Cycle" to the Canadian Summer Games held in London, Ontario in 2001. We were invited to play this song live at Victoria Park as part of the Summer Games celebration.
Baku performed at Forest City Gallery, Call the Office, and Eric Stach's Studio 123
Baku was interviewed and filmed as part of the documentary "What About Me: The Rise of the Nihilist Spasm Band" by Zev Asher. The documentary also used some of Baku's music for some of the interstitial scenes.
You can find Baku's music on Bandcamp