Dog In The Cave is the first in a new series entitled “Limits and Derives”, and it’s a fascinating entry point for sound-searcher Atilio Doreste. A deep evocation of a close atmosphere, the low clouds sleeping over an exotic panorama and a secluded intimacy in the presence of our surroundings are all felt during the set of field recordings, to such an extent that multiple senses are awakened behind the eyes and activated all at once. It’s possible to imagine the chilled trickle of water, the humidity in the carried air and the rocky terrain under our feet. All of these features are crucial elements to the field recording, and in order for them to be successful this evocation must run deep. Dog In The Cave captures the Spanish archipelago of the Canary Islands to near-perfection, so vivid is the music of her horizon.
Just off the north-west coast of Africa, you’ll find the sounds inherent to Dog In The Cave. Over the islands, an infinite number of details within details present themselves; flies buzz all a frenzy, creating music where one is all and all is one, sending their dissonance into the air as the rain pours down. The vibe emanating outwards is not immediately of a landscape steeped in stunning beauty, one that is easy to enjoy and admire, but one of clanking drain-pipes and daydreams of day-to day life, as seen inside townships and villages void of tourists, where once-inspired architecture fades to near-ruin.
As listeners, our eyes are blind to the true recorded source, dependent on our inner eye to imagine the location (those flies we can hear actually encircle and approach a dead rabbit.) Doreste is a trusting pathfinder who allows us enough of a vivid view so as to imagine clearly, and it’s enough to destroy the thought of reaching fingers into the dark. Just like the rough terrain, these recordings sneak and jump around the islands, finally resting at a place of unspoilt beauty; a true scent.
In “San Miguel De Abona Camino Real”, drops of rain fall like rhythmical footsteps, advancing with the slow-burning clouds. Thunderclaps roar over a fearful dog’s whine, swirling the atmosphere into an indigo shade under dark skies full of rain. The wind accelerates, charging up an excited electricity and stirring the neck like a high current. El Camino Real itself is the Spanish word for ‘The Royal Road’, or, ‘The King’s Path’.
“Camino Real En Tegueste” introduces native wildlife, as the chirpy cry of birds produce the note-perfect music of the wild. Planes cut through the dark clouds, thrusting over the sky above. This not only counteracts the natural sound of the island, but it also intrudes into the dense, natural sense of peace. Chiming church bells ring out their major melodies amid the Sunday morning chatter; this is a thriving community full of life. Streams carry us along a grassy walkway between desire and desolation, through abandoned corners of overgrown beauty that are absent save for the shouts of inquisitive children. Stabs of a different kind of music drifts in from a radio frequency, and echoes reverberate as if we were inside the cave itself. This area of suburbia, and a wide proportion of the natural land, is full of noise pollution that interacts with the natural and then absorbs into the natural, to create a sonic acceptance in the new sound of the land; a place where true peace only lasts for a second inside the true concrete jungle.
Exotic creatures breathe into your ears in both a warning and a welcome, in a landscape swept with an unpredictable flurry of activity. Existing alongside the concrete chaos lies a foundation of birdsong, a shining light of tranquility centuries old. Pulling aside the foliage, the rustle of the leaves and the grass make way for piercing chains, screaming floors and the throaty growl of a dog, adding a discordant feel; a flipped mirror image to the harmonious song. It’s not a saccharine listen; the Spanish voices re-tell the story of a fatal accident involving a farmer’s wife, who was killed by a bull from his own herd thirty years ago.
“Acantilados De Acentejo” is the ultimate relaxant, where the sound of running water prevails; a perfect February listen for people born under Aquarius. A creek and a croak reveal the wildlife running their course along the breezy banks. It’s easy on the ear, as if we were tuned into Rainy Mood. Up to the shoreline we travel, where the usually serene sound of waves reaching up and caressing the shore now crash over the sides in a jet of white foam. Finally, a hydro helicopter disperses water over a mountain choked with smoke and suffering with fire (“La Atayala”.) A legend points the King’s Path as being the entrance to a cave, thought to be one of the last seclusions of the then king, before the invasion by the Kingdom of Castile. A dog continues to watch the entrance.
The archipelago awaits discovery. (James Catchpole)