Saturday, 17 November 2012

Review: Sleeper - Dawn Of The Replicants / Zodiac / Shelter [CHST023]

Sleeper's third plate of the year, and his second solo outing, is another solid release and reminder of the sort of talent and attention to detail required to make an impression within today's 140 bracket.

'Dawn Of The Replicants', with its Jehst-referencing title, suggests a UK sound and delivers just that: the spidery synth line of the intro has the mark of label head Distance all over it; but a copycat tune this is not, as a rising Reese riff bursts through and pulls with it a whole heap of bottom-end. And if Sleeper's sound could be defined by only two of its elements, it would be this immense sub-weight and his mastery of the Reese-led midrange. Plenty of producers have made attempts at emulating him in this but it is on tracks like 'Dawn Of The Replicants' that Sleeper shows - just as Jehst's breakthrough left a host of MCs trailing on coat tails - he is so often already a league ahead of the next inventive technique.

As on 'Zodiac', in which the entire mid-range seems to be in a struggle against the swung kicks and doppled hi-hats: the bassline pulling backwards against the percussion, which presses forward. And yet the tune, with enough rhythmic variation and techy synths, is propelled on far beyond any another static attempt at introducing doubled-up kick drums and sporadic snares. The digital bonus, 'Shelter', is an altogether more creepy affair which hangs the listener up to witness their own undoing; with an unsettling, almost ceremonial, bongo riff and reverbed clangs draped around an eery vocal sample.

Sleeper - Dawn Of The Replicants

Sleeper - Zodiac

Sleeper - Shelter

CHST023 will be released on Monday 19th November and is now available for pre-order from the Chestplate Surus store in both vinyl and digital formats.


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