Tear Ceremony ‎– Sleep

Simulacra Records ‎– none



"Sleep is an audio document of the cyclical process of sleep itself. It is a musical exploration of hypnagogia (tracks 1-3), REM and various somnambulistic processes (4-9), awakening (10-12), and finally the recurrence of this phenomenon."

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June 4, 2012
Side one kicks off with "Submission" & quickly establishes itself as dark ambient electronic music, most closely comparable to LULL - a drifting, tinkling atmospheric piece which cycles around like a star-filled pocket microcosm, suggesting - instead of infinity - much more cramped & claustrophobic dimensional limits. It fades into a dim churning amorphous darkness, as of heavy granite clouds rolling along bleached landscapes. From here it changes into another mild mellow atmospheric piece with a sudden, unattached slice of found dialogue. "Screentest" slides out of the speakers as stealthily as gas, another cycling star system of muted spangles & jingles. "Ventriloquist" is perhaps a more Industrial-sounding piece, slower, stranger, suggestive of dark subterranean dwellers beneath city streets, performing rituals over great reverberating distances of metal piping. "Smear The Rushes" rises up in dark shrouds, all edges removed, it's amorphous shape honed down into something strange-yet-somehow-alive:- a bloated freak-being through which shines strange objects. It veers off along another dimension for "Trackmarks", a strange journey through a tunnel both metallically echoing & biologically peristaltic. "The Abbey Road Twins" again uses slow grinding percussive notes, cycling in Surreal representations of rhythm much in the same style as the wonderful ALIO DIE - very other-worldly, very bizarre. "Pulsed" again uses a dark, calming warm drone of sound combined with a percussive loop, a short but atmospheric piece.
Side two opens with "Blind For Diamonds", a clockwork piece of music again combining what must be looped rhythmic noises with muffled sounds to create a very mechanical sound. "On A Drowsy Sea" uses a very similar looped rhythm, although this one much more dense, the sound of a factory, churning out it's arcane product. It has a calming, hypnotic effect, relaxing its listeners, pulling them into it's welcoming cogs. A carillon of muted bells. "Allayed" creates an even more passive mood, using dark warm sounds through delays to create a form of rising/falling rhythm which, although changeless, is relaxing to lose yourself in. "A Piece Of Now" is perhaps a little more Industrial, a less warm, more re-composed-Wasteland-ambient sound. "Sleep In The Eyes" is perhaps the most tuneful piece on the album, using close, cloying guitar in a way that is beautifully harmonic, a sort of cross between atmospheric POPUL VUH & THIS MORTAL COIL. Finally comes "Recurrence", another ambient atmosphere which drifts like a ground mist, amorphous, shapeless- yet-shape-shifting. through which splinters, slithers & shards of metal & glass, mutated through pressure & heat, then reformed, appear like eddys in a fog.

I have to admit I'm fond of this album & don't see why they couldn't put this or something like it out on CD. Like a primal study for "Zamia Lehmanni", it has atmosphere & strange rhythm, combined into a dark & fascinating atmosphere. The quality's good, and it would stand in anyone's record collection next to their LULL, ALIO DIE, TERRACE OF MEMORIES etc.

Originally reviewed for Soft Watch.