steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

review
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info opinion

Sleepers

"Sounds for a Healthy B(r)ane" C30

Felt Cat Records

Genre: experimental

Texas, USA

January 2010

Recorded at 3 AM within a circle of "flames and noisemakers," Sounds For a Healthy B(r)ane is a fantastical sonic ritual from this project of He of the House's Silas Ciarn. As the story goes, this tape was recorded in one session, sans overdubs or edits, straight to an ancient cassette from 1972. Employing a medley of strange, sound-making objects, as well as miscellaneous instruments and a second tape of noises and found sounds, Ciarn has churned out an idiosyncratic, whimsical effort on this analog artefact. I approached this cassette with considerable approbation, as often these sorts of free-wheeling improvisations appeal more to the soundmakers than the person who actually listens to them, but Sleepers' affair defied any preconceived notions of mediocrity. It is the background sounds which help completely absorb the listener -- trembling noise at some points, swooping synth sirens elsewhere, and, of course, a consistently sizable layer of grubby tape fuzz. Amid the sonic rubble one also encounters tape-warped chanting, clinks n' clanks, radio/television audio, haunting violins, as well as Ciarn's strange, esoteric poetry. Of course, not every moment maintains the mood -- for example, a bizarre vocal outburst by Ciarn on side B is more comical than anything else -- but this cassette is otherwise an impressively evocative work of freeform noise exploration. Limited to 15 copies, though, so run don't walk.

**AVAILABLE FREE ONLINE VIA FELT CAT

sleepers' myspace

Michael Tau

[Vitals: 2 tracks, distributed by the label, released 2009]