Released 05 February 2021
Beyond is Sleepsang’s debut full-length album and their second release for Interworld Media. Where the previous EP Eternal Memory pulsed with a bright-eyed awe at the natural world, here the same threads of nostalgia weave on a loom haunted by our bitter and complex present.
Responding to a chaotic year, Beyond is a deep, fragile journey. Melancholy tones filter through failing mechanical systems. Waves of soft glitches swell and drag against droning shorelines. Tension builds steadily; erupting as outbursts of noise, or dissipating back into the earth. The rich emotional terrain of surreal VR experiences, the fiction of Ursula K. Le Guin (Stone Telling), and immersive video games are listed as touchstones. Each track is a specific unreal place, an altered state, a holodeck simulation.
On Conversation, a highlight of the album, Sleepsang’s longtime friend and collaborator Ciggy De La Noche contributes lilting saxophone, elevating the track to a moody, futuristic blues-improv jam. Elsewhere, on tracks such as Consecrate, Fabricate, Break and You’re Gonna Prioritise, eerie atmospherics and sound design describe maddening, impossible architectures. The final track, Wolves, brings the listener back from total immersion, the sounds of water echoing the lapping waves on the cover of Eternal Memory.
Sleepsang manipulates samples, crafting the sound world of Beyond from traditional instruments as much as from digital detritus. This is the same delicate construction of noises as before, paired with an emphasis on electroacoustic sound design and a sharper focus on musical narrative. The album was created using an assortment of open source music software, with sketches initially created in the live-coding environment TidalCycles and then developed into concrete pieces.
Production / Mixing: sleepsang – www.sleepsang.com
Mastering: Adam Badí Donoval – abdonoval.com
Render: Hannah Rose Stewart – www.hannahrosestewart.com
Art Direction: Seb Koseda – sebastiankoseda.com
Saxophone: Ciggy De La Noche – soundcloud.com/ciggydelanoche