SSLEEPERHOLD: Ruleth (Holodeck/Light Lodge, 2013)

April 5, 2014 at 10:08 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

SSLEEPERHOLD: Ruleth

SSLEEPERHOLD: Ruleth

Completely overdue review, very sorry about that, but I saw this guy twice at SXSW and he was clearly one of the highlights of the entire week. I grabbed a copy of this LP after receiving a promo download a while ago and I’ve just been listening to it nonstop. My friend said his performances were “next-level, and I never use that term.” As with most artists on Holodeck, he sets up a mountain of bulky analogue synths, and just knocks it out of the park with slow-to-midtempo beats and horror-movie atmospheres. I love how this album has such a buzzy, lo-fi quality to it; there’s even a track with a false start. It clearly sounds hand-assembled and labored. Big, brutal industrial beats, but with oddly charming, beautiful melodies, and human levels of hiss and distortion. It always sounds like there’s some hidden voices trapped underneath the noise and beats, some teeth gnashing and tension brewing. It’s dark and gloomy, and maybe a bit angry, but it practices restraint and doesn’t blow up or become too punishing. It’s fantastic and magnificent and you need it in your life. It’s been re-pressed on vinyl, too, and there’s always the cassette and digital versions available at, where else, Bandcamp.

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