Friday, 10 February 2012

Artificial Sun Project - Sleep EP review

Sleep EP Cover Art

Artificial Sun Project is the pseudonym used by Newcastle based Sean Cotterill to release what he has describes as “dark electronic music to ambient and field recordings”. The music that makes up his latest release “Sleep” may be categorised as such but deserves further deconstruction. “Recovery” which opens this release meanders slowly at first through a landscape of drones and waves which become reminiscent of birdcall, and suggest an organic element at work. Gently a guitar picks its way through the background, bending and swerving through the undergrowth. The listener is led forward into “Sleep” which unnervingly opens with a degree of dissonance and uncertainty, before the repeating motif that identifies it becomes apparent. Roaring waves of sound break through the motif and lift “Sleep” beyond mere ambient sound into a piece that possesses authority and charisma.

The pace eases slightly as we encounter “Shift” which rides over an electronic wave of beats and pulsating patterns, masking the softly throbbing lines that personify it. Layer upon layer the track builds into a grandiose mixture of rhythm and electronica.  “Gap” is an altogether darker place to listen from, and features slabs of unnatural reverberation to create an ambience of promising potential dystopia.  The closing track “Danger, Keep Away” reassures the listener that this possible future is now manifest and is more or less hauntological in its composition.

The “Sleep” EP as a whole indicates that Artificial Sun Project can build and develop crystal clear productions which are not afraid to take risks or explore areas of composition which can be both divergent and complementary. The influences cited range from Brian Eno, Robert Fripp, Aphex Twin, Massive Attack to Wolf Eyes, and the curious listener may identify all these elements in this release. A journey through “Sleep” is a journey through a potential urban landscape that the listener may have encountered within a dream or within a tale of post apocalyptic futures. The mood is unsettling but tangible.

Link to Artificial Sun Project Bandcamp page

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