Decision Electro-Industrial, IDM Sleepless Droids It's a rare discovery, that work of art that you wouldn't want to change. It has been a while since I saw or heard such a beast, but maybe that has changed now that I've immersed myself in this new EP. It's like a little cocoon of near perfection - it may not cross any genre lines, but the strength is in internal consistency - doing what has to be done very, very well. It's like a shot of adrenaline in the arm for an electro industrial scene that all too often seems to be too busy doubting itself. Sleepless Droids began in late 2011 as a brand new project for Australian producer Aaron Potter, who is also one half of Australian act AR12. Readers may also be familiar with some of Aaron's earlier work with the project "Empty", which displayed a more laid back but equally proficient sound. Sleepless Droids is a solo project, and it is always a humbling treat when an artist single handedly writes, records and produces such a compelling work as this. So without further introduction, what does the music sound like? Don't let the understated name of the first track "An Introduction" deceive you - it's huge - an electro funeral march iced with some deliciously ethereal vocals courtesy of guest vocalist Tessa Zintek Zinyk. This whole sound is laced with glitchy electro synths and far away guitars pulsing with feedback, giving the whole experience a sense of sonic depth that raises it far above the norm. I have no doubt that the intro is designed to prime the listener for an all out electro industrial assault. If that is the case, then "Augmented" certainly delivers the warhead. It is as though the last two and a half minutes were just one big riser, and it's all released into a wave of dance floor chaos. Tight, punchy beats play a menacing game of tag with a crushing bassline that I am dying to hear on a huge club system. I am going to mention the production standards a lot in this review - because this level of attention to detail deserves a huge amount of recognition. The third track "All Exits are Open" introduces more of a breakbeat feel, mashing up the beats into varied patterns that keep things interesting. There are more vocals here, with Aaron's processed voice reminding me somewhat of Klayton from Celldweller. The breakdown near the end of the track is a fleeting vision of synthesiser utopia : a fittingly poignant interlude wedged between the clinical aggression surrounding it. There's so much going on here that it's hard to pinpoint it all - far away vocoded vocals floating weightlessly behind sparkling synth arps. By the time I got to the fourth track I knew that there wasn't going to be any filler material stuffed onto the end of this release. Every track on this EP is a triumph in its own right. "I Waited" is perhaps the heaviest of all of the tracks, pounding beats once again dancing on top of an even heavier, grungier bassline. The only reprieve is a trance-like breakdown that is destined send dancefloors into raptures the whole world over. I have mentioned the production but I'd like to elaborate. I started listening to this album on headphones. By the end of the intro I'd raced into the studio and run the whole album through my main monitors. Musicians take note - if you want a benchmark for production, you could do far worse than using this album as a reference. Clear, crisp production with a masterful sense of depth. For a project that is so young, this achievement is no less than astonishing. It deserves your support, and it deserves to be in every DJ's road case. 550
Brutal Resonance

Sleepless Droids - Decision

9.0
"Amazing"
N/A
Electroracle
Spotify
Released 2012 by CRL Studios
It's a rare discovery, that work of art that you wouldn't want to change. It has been a while since I saw or heard such a beast, but maybe that has changed now that I've immersed myself in this new EP. It's like a little cocoon of near perfection - it may not cross any genre lines, but the strength is in internal consistency - doing what has to be done very, very well. It's like a shot of adrenaline in the arm for an electro industrial scene that all too often seems to be too busy doubting itself.

Sleepless Droids began in late 2011 as a brand new project for Australian producer Aaron Potter, who is also one half of Australian act AR12. Readers may also be familiar with some of Aaron's earlier work with the project "Empty", which displayed a more laid back but equally proficient sound. Sleepless Droids is a solo project, and it is always a humbling treat when an artist single handedly writes, records and produces such a compelling work as this. So without further introduction, what does the music sound like?

Don't let the understated name of the first track "An Introduction" deceive you - it's huge - an electro funeral march iced with some deliciously ethereal vocals courtesy of guest vocalist Tessa Zintek Zinyk. This whole sound is laced with glitchy electro synths and far away guitars pulsing with feedback, giving the whole experience a sense of sonic depth that raises it far above the norm.

I have no doubt that the intro is designed to prime the listener for an all out electro industrial assault. If that is the case, then "Augmented" certainly delivers the warhead. It is as though the last two and a half minutes were just one big riser, and it's all released into a wave of dance floor chaos. Tight, punchy beats play a menacing game of tag with a crushing bassline that I am dying to hear on a huge club system. I am going to mention the production standards a lot in this review - because this level of attention to detail deserves a huge amount of recognition.

The third track "All Exits are Open" introduces more of a breakbeat feel, mashing up the beats into varied patterns that keep things interesting. There are more vocals here, with Aaron's processed voice reminding me somewhat of Klayton from Celldweller. The breakdown near the end of the track is a fleeting vision of synthesiser utopia : a fittingly poignant interlude wedged between the clinical aggression surrounding it. There's so much going on here that it's hard to pinpoint it all - far away vocoded vocals floating weightlessly behind sparkling synth arps.

By the time I got to the fourth track I knew that there wasn't going to be any filler material stuffed onto the end of this release. Every track on this EP is a triumph in its own right. "I Waited" is perhaps the heaviest of all of the tracks, pounding beats once again dancing on top of an even heavier, grungier bassline. The only reprieve is a trance-like breakdown that is destined send dancefloors into raptures the whole world over.

I have mentioned the production but I'd like to elaborate. I started listening to this album on headphones. By the end of the intro I'd raced into the studio and run the whole album through my main monitors. Musicians take note - if you want a benchmark for production, you could do far worse than using this album as a reference. Clear, crisp production with a masterful sense of depth.

For a project that is so young, this achievement is no less than astonishing. It deserves your support, and it deserves to be in every DJ's road case. Nov 19 2012

Julian Nichols

info@brutalresonance.com
Writer and contributor on Brutal Resonance

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