Naarm alchemists Sleep D’s revelatory new synthetic ‘Electronic Arts’ is ready for circulation.
Having released 4 EPs of mind-altering club tackle since 2019’s ‘Rebel Force’, the duo overcome second album syndrome, boiling down their chaos with a more developed sense of songwriting. Never banging one drum, ‘Electronic Arts’ mirrors the anything goes mania of their DJ sets, tactfully shifting through different sounds and styles. Tempos intensify and decelerate, at times pushing the threshold to 150 bpm from docile canine dreamscapes to full tilt Space Invaders in AR mind games.
Largely built on road tested material from their live performances, the album is a tangible Butter Sessions gathering, busting out the gate with Martian rave initiation Planet Waves, Outdoor System’s polyrhythmic beatdown and the Orb-like hero dose affirmations of Sunrise In The Crater (I Exist). While ‘Electronic Arts’ is otherwise a self-dependent effort, Punch Drunk is brewed ever more potent by the hypnagogic vocals and lucid trumpet cycles of former futsal team member YL Hooi. Their unified energy incidentally manifests a profound matrix of ambient techno, motorik, Don Cherry and Everything But the Girl.
Also touching on apocalyptic doof and minimal, the album is not exclusively peak time with Maryos Syawish and Corey Kikos’ specialty curveballs also playing their part. From Village To Empire finds the duo rooting down in Syawish’s heritage with a tapestry of purposefully deployed Iraqi and Syrian ethnographic samples and field recordings, dubbed within range of Muslimgauze and On-U Sound. As minimal techno finale Textile trails off into footsteps wandering back to base camp with a satisfied exhale, one wonders where Sleep D’s existential pathfinding could possibly take us next?
Artwork – GGT
Mixing – Corey Kikos
Mastering – Nik Kozub
Album notes – Michael Kucyk