Sound Advice: Ascension, by Caudal
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Sound Advice: Ascension, by Caudal

The local space rock trio go exploring on their expansive sophomore album.

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Aidan Baker is perhaps best known for being one half of Toronto-based experimental drone project Nadja, along with Leah Buckareff. The multi-instrumentalist and composer is, however, prolific in his work outside the dreamsludge duo as well. In addition to preparing to release a Nadja live album, recorded at the Incubate festival in the Netherlands, Baker released a record with The Whisper Room earlier this year, worked on a collaboration with Thisquietarmy known as the Hypnodrone Ensemble, and published a book of poetry. And as if those projects weren’t keeping him busy enough, Baker is also a part of space rock trio Caudal, who have just released their sophomore album, Ascension.

In addition to Baker on guitar, Caudal includes Gareth Sweeney (Gout) on bass and Felipe Salazar (Muerte En Pereira) on drums. The three tracks that make up the album are expansive without dragging—spiralling and exploratory pieces that coil around each other like the stretching arms of galaxies. The album lives up to its title, beginning with the celestial and reaching ever upwards.

The textures are deeply layered, and have a flowing, liquid quality, like lapping and overlapping waves. The more time you spend with Ascension, however, the more you’ll find the sonic layers feel less like water and more like roiling star stuff. For every moment of cantankerous krautrock there is a deep, shivering calm, a sense of vastness behind all the noise.

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