Over a year ago I tentatively dipped my toes into the world of new minimalist techno via Sleeparchives' "Research EP". My review suggests conflicting emotions - slight bemusement mixed with pleasure. One part of my brain was asking "why?" and the other part was just saying "wow, this is fantastic!". Anyway, I thought it was time to check out the latest offering, the double 12 inch "Radio Transmission EP", released in February this year. And guess what - I fucking love it! I totally 'get' Sleeparchive now, I'm 100% into it. Drop the needle on side A and "Bleep" is a work of art that doubles as a hi-fi test record, featuring terrifying levels of pure, unmodulated sub bass of a kind I haven't heard since the old days of Sweet Excorcist and the first wave of Bleep music. There's no point in listening to this on earphones. Like dubstep, you need to physically feel the bass frequencies pushing through the air and resonating within your body. Unfortunately I don't know any clubs playing this sort of music where I live, so I have to wait until I've got the house to myself, crank up the volume as much as I dare and just stand between the speakers, absorbing the nutritious frequencies as best I can. All the frequencies are in the extreme hi and lo...there's an almost complete absence of mid-range. The arrangements are lean and minimal, every little percussive hit seems placed for maximum, devestating effect. When the string melody appears near the end of the title track, it's almost an unwanted distraction. This is sonic fetishism of the highest order.
The records are peppered with little lock-grooves, which, once you've figured where they are, make excellent mixing tools. I spent about an hour the other night just mixing Sleeparchive tracks together, using the little 1-bar lock grooves extensively. Next-level vinyl science. What a mind-fuckingly great idea! This record was made in Germany. I wanna hear the youth of Sheffield taking inspiration from this music, rising up to reclaim their sonic heritage. Someday, all minimalist techno records will be made this way...
Available at Boomkat.