Review: Sleeper – Zombies / Scanners [CHST015]

Approximately four months after the release of District’s “3.5 Grams” arrives the first official release from Coventry companion Sleeper. It’s a release that us at TRUSIK have anticipated even before Sleeper had been confirmed as part of the Chestplate family, which I reckon can be said for many others currently absorbed by the resurgent flavours of deep and minimal dubstep.

The wait hasn’t been as prolonged as it possibly could have been though. Over 2011, Sleeper has generously given away 3 tracks as appreciation for him grew. Furthermore, two more were contributed to Chestplate’s Free EP over Christmas with “GTFO” and his collaboration with District, “LV-426.” It has also earned him a nomination as best new producer at the Dubstep Forum Awards, and considering Sleeper didn’t have an official release at time of nominations, it’s a credit to his quality as a producer and the sounds that he creates.

Zombies” is a two-track vinyl and three-track digital release. The title track delivers a gruesome undead march of swaying sub bass with an earth-shattering kick. However, with the choice of making “Narrow” a digital only track, I feel (as a vinyl DJ) that Narrow b/w Scanners would have made a better coupling for the vinyl selection but that is in no way a discounting of Zombies which is nonetheless an incredible track. “Scanners” is one of Sleeper’s signature tracks and certainly the most long-awaited of the three since it appeared (for the first time?) on Sleeper’s GetDarker set in March ‘11. The relentless bottom end accompanies distant industrial sounds that reverb and echo, conjuring a picture of an empty warehouse with barely existent albeit evident activity.

“Narrow” takes the listener outside of that aforementioned warehouse. It embodies atmosphere with the use of rain from the start and during the break prominently featuring a short klaxon-esque motif with Sleeper’s unique growls punctuating the composition. As alluded to before, Narrow is certainly my favourite of the EP. Bigger thing await the boys from Coventry, with their first releases on a label as renowned and respected as Chestplate with Distance as the head, 2012 will certainly be a big year for everyone involved significantly contributing to the deeper, darker side of dubstep as a whole.

CHST015 is released January 9th and available from Bleep and Juno Download.

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