We received this CDR direct from Power Moves Library, arriving in an extremely anonymous package with murky monochrome images that nevertheless identifies it as a record called Ares (PML 03) by Downer Canada. Even fewer clues if you go to the web about this, but they will concede it’s something to do with acousmatic sound (i.e. playback of recordings over loudspeakers) and field recordings. It’s quite a little devil of process art-noise. The first half is like some hellish trip through a whited-out snow blizzard in outer space…perhaps ferrying our way across the rings of Saturn, or listening to the alarming information that’s coming over the spaceship radio systems as we make this perilous flight. Endless tension, and a certain abrasive quality to these harsh surfaces, make this a compelling spin for reasons that are not clear to me.
The second track seems to embark on similar territory, but this time distortion is the strongest element, and the resemblance to short-wave radio emissions from a dark zone is even more prominent. There’s also a percussive component, and something that resembles running water. Both of these may simply be by-products of the process, whatever it may be. I’m quite prepared to believe these vast, cosmic-seeming tracts of sound actually have quite humble origins, and I wouldn’t feel at all stupid if it turned out to be recordings of a dripping tap and a steel bucket in the rain. After all it’s only when we accept our own insignificance that great oaks from little acorns grow, or something. Certainly one to file alongside Jim Haynes, mnortham, and other explorers of small phenomena in nature. What I’m enjoying today is the strong sense of purpose, which means I think I can trust Downer Canada to lead me anywhere. Downer Canada is Kevin Cahill, and has three other releases on this label from the last couple of years, whose tangible editions on cassette were limited to very small numbers. Very fine. From 20th March 2017.