Review: Sleeper & District – Terraformed EP [CHST017]

With Chestplate’s prolific and relentless output showing absolutely no signs of waning, the long-anticipated collaborative release is delivered by the Coventry bass cauldron dwellers, Sleeper and District. Having accumulated considerable renown over the last year, the pair have solidified and perfected their sound to such an extent that they have quickly become artists whose dubs and exclusives are extremely sought-after – impressive, considering that their exposure in the scene has relatively been recent. Both now with singular releases on Chesplate, District’s “Haymaker” and Sleeper’s “Zombies,” the two infuse their production prowess to present a monster release, the “Terraformed” EP.

And “Terraformed” is exactly that. It was created for the purposes of sculpting hills, mountains and various other topographical features. Gritty bass and insatiable four by four kicks obliterate the terrain before scything synths arrives to fine-tune the resulting destruction. Obvious comparisons were made to Kryptic Minds’ “Arcane” when Terraformed started to receive airplay; especially because its revelation was soon after the release of “Can’t Sleep.” As usual, Youngsta had pre-empted this reaction and regularly twinned the two into his mixes, the drums in both complimenting the other marvellously. However, Terraformed isn’t too similar to Arcane to be a copy of it, the boys having moulded their own instrument of destruction and subsequent creation.

“Zero Day” invites you into the apocalyptic wasteland, fraught with strobing sprites overhead; guttural growls emanating regularly. “Transitions” on the other hand is an odyssey into the void. Opening with a chilling cry from within the emptiness, a swirling klaxon encouraging the call. “Colony” is a truly spatial affair, the boys trying something different with additional drums to punctuate their regular employment of the kick-snare combo. Suppose the term spatial can be used to describe all four of the tracks on the EP, in terms of theme and physicality. Drums are dynamically superb, sharp and clear and the overall mastering on each track is perfectly defined.

“Terraformed” is an absolutely fantastic EP and will be one to feature in DJs’ sets for a while. It will stand out amongst Chestplate’s catalogue of releases this year and in general. If I had one gripe about this release is that is wasn’t released on 2 x 12″!

CHST017 is released March 19th and available from Bleep and Juno Download.

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