Music Reviews

Artist: Sleeping Prophet (@)
Title: Introspect's Child
Format: CD
One of the great perks of working in this magazine is discovering raw, new talent out there and bringing it to you, the people, to enjoy. This is one of the finds I found out about while researching the scene around my old hometown of Cincinnati, and have actually talked to this artist quite often since discovering him. The music represents the man as a whole: very intelligent, yet very enigmatic (not to mention the guy is an absolute fucking genius when it comes to anything doing with computers). It’s hard to tell with him what will come out next from his complex mind, but rest assured it is always interesting. And it also shows in the music, which shows a depth and sophistication uncommon for unsigned artists. The songs run the gamete from ambient, trip hop, IDM to electro, all with a sort of moody, brooding atmosphere, which after listening to the whole CD can seem a bit unsettling to some. The sound is like if Oneiroid Psychosis and the Cold Meat Industries sound with a little bit of Diary Of Dreams, with whispering vocals detailing bouts of fear and depression over this utter mindfuck of sound. Track 4 ("Disconnected") is perhaps the most laid back track on this whole CD, but it still has that feel of a desert in the middle of the erosion process. That laid back mood seems to just add to the feel of desperation in the music, actually. But don’t fret, there is a song on here for the dancers out there, "The Answer Lies In The Question", though it is a rather melancholy song as well, with synth lines bringing to mind the more emotional songs of VNV Nation or even The Arms Of Someone New. Even on this track, Patrick Simonds’ (the mastermind of this whole thing) vocals are always nearly quiet and with a sense of vulnerability. Then comes the eery and strange track, "Lost", which seems like a dark soundtrack piece ala Coil’s "5 Minutes After A Violent Death" to set the mood back into motion. Fading keyboard lines reverbing back and forth, on top of the eery ambient backdrop, sparse drumming and despaired vocals, make this some uneasy music for those just bent on thinking electronic has to be simply dance music. The mood settles a bit more on the next track, with a little bit more dark synthpop elements to top off the challenging mood. Add to that one of the most interesting sets of drum patterns put onto record in a good long while, shifting with each verse. The other welcome thing about Sleeping Prophet is the loss the of the whole song-chorus-song pattern, as there are rarely choruses in these songs. Hehe, with that simple change I think he may be onto something! Track 9 adds a sort of dark Delerium element to the whole mix, with a sparse drumming style in the vein of newer X Marks The Pedwalk on top of those ever present and emotional vocals. One of the things I love is how the vocals float along on the whole atmosphere built around it, rather than overpowering it. It’s like a calm voice of despair coming out of a vortex of nightmares, adding a human feel to something that would otherwise be overbearing for a lot of listeners (in a good challenging way). Every song on this CD does what dark electronic is supposed to do: take one on a very bumpy ride, grab the listener by the throat and challenge them to listen rather than sit and demand more comfortable terrain. This is music of some very grieving emotions, but also has an air of hope and enigmas about the state of happiness and what joy actually is to leave the listener listening again in hopes for the answer. There is a whole page at MP3.com to check out the music of this daring and innovative artist, whose sound I can guarantee has even more layers and depth we are yet to see in the future. Rating: 10 PS, Don’t be afraid to email Patrick about his music and let him know if you like it. :-)



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