Sun 22nd September 2013
Northern California must have epic sunsets and a real sense of the grandiose as this release from sound artist John Davis has that euphoric and wonderful feel of a day drawing to a close to it.
Spread across five tracks, Ask The Dust invites you to a bleeping, quiet world of undulating calm. Opener Superpartner has a manipulated buzzing sample running under its entire length and other sounds visit like spectres throughout. Sounds of the wide open world invade as well as digital anomalies and clever use of acoustic guitar reminds me of rounds era Four Tet.
Joy Meridian comes from silence with an otherworldly, floating sound with high-pitched buzzing that sounds not unlike mechanical motors. Some pedalboard wizardy no doubt makes the jarring, irksome sound pass through several phases, sounding pleasant at times and an irritant at others.
The pleasant journey continues, with the multi-faceted Synecdoche passing through several phases, including alarming physical hefting of heavy machinery being caught as a field recording and chiming bells rolling through the soft, welcoming static. This is microcosmic music, inspecting the smallest sounds with a childlike intensity. Distant crunches from unknown sources give way to vinyl-like pops and imperfections and it's fascinating.
The more vital Julian Wind is a great choice to close the collection here. whole fields of sound approach all at once, with the constant calm of a wave crashing underpinning the string and digital rolling perfectly. There's even a sample towards the end of what sounds like a woman being interviewed under sedation about experiencing an alien planet.