The Toronto-based producer Cares describes his music as “stress ambient,” a seemingly paradoxical term that reveals itself to be incredibly accurate upon listening to his imposing productions. Typically, ambient music involves environmental sound and subtle atmospheric textures, functioning as “background” or “mood” music that aims to soothe not stress. However, Cares’ approach to ambient music bypasses its tranquil tendencies altogether and instead opts for an infusion of power electronics, industrial and noise that acts to confront the listener rather than sedate them.
“Lucid” is Cares’ latest single and the first to be released from his upcoming full-length album Control Isn’t Real. The track, along with its accompanying video, showcases Cares’ ‘stress ambient’ sound with its ominous, droning sub-frequencies and garbled, humanoid vocal samples. The video, designed by digital media artist glovelesss a.k.a. 990x, depicts a watering human eye spliced with footage of nature, technology, commercials, surveillance footage and anything else under the sun. It manages to capture the sense of existential nausea and data overload that prevails throughout Cares’ discography.
After taking a detour collaborating with free-form percussionist WHQB earlier this year, Cares’ offers a proper follow-up to last year’s Regular Unconscious in Control Isn’t Real, due out Nov. 8th on Cares’ own imprint Collusion. The album was built from material performed live in the past year and looks to examine “structural violence, infinite content and their effects on processing reality.” Pre-order it in digital or 12″ translucent black vinyl format here.