Sleepless Droids - I & II
In September one of the industrial scene’s best kept secrets, that being Australian electro-industrial project Sleepless Droids, released two EPs back-to-back. The first part showcases his love for darksynth and cyberpunk club beats; a six track album packed with impressive instrumentals and a cinematic, storytelling edge. And if part I is supposed to be the angry, clubby, stompy segment, than part II is supposed to the chillout, IDM calming sensation that washes over us. Splitting these up is a good choice; I think the common listener would get baffled but the sudden change in pace. For me, however, reviewing one without the other would be a sin. So I’m writing this article covering both at the same time. Plus, we need to save some room for other artists as well.
Written, mixed, and mastered by founder Aaron Potter, this dude is a triple threat. ‘Made of Wires’ kicks off part I with a classic darksynth intro; muffled beats as if you’re standing outside a club play for a few seconds before the door is kicked open and you’re launched inside a neon soaked, drug and alcohol fueled environment filled with vice and pleasures. Pulse pounding beats and near-future synths bleed out into the song; random chants and icy breaths decorate the song from start to finish as warm synths cover the background. ‘Dystopia’ gives us a look into the sun-blocking skyscrapers, the dirty streets; a walk through a cybernetic hell. Bells toll as if a funeral is coming as samples reign supreme. Though, I will admit that hearing the “I am become death” sample for the millionth time in the millionth song was wholly unoriginal and made me sigh a bit.
‘Night Stalker’ begins with sirens as another murder is investigated; a play on the infamous Richard Ramirez and his lethal crimes. Again, club beats pulsate the massacre; a soundtrack to an insane mind on a constant high. ‘Ungod’ is a culmination of glitchy sound effects and over saturation; a thousand samples being thrown at you a minute at times. Like an overcrowded website asking you to enable cookies, download an app, subscribe to their newsletter, and to turn off your adblocker. A futile effort in understanding. ‘Slave’ brings in the Blade Runner vibes with soaring synths in an epic and sweeping fashion; a wide shot of a dystopian city across the sky. The last song on part I, ‘Occultism’, gives us a look into cybernetic Satanism; where flesh meets machine meets perverse worship.
Thus ends part I and we move onto part II. This is where Sleepless Droids explores his chill, IDM, and glitch side much more starting with ‘Real Lies’. Deep and heavy synths lay down the framework as electricity runs over them, like live wires being let loose; a heartbeat in the making. Eventually this fades a little after the one-minute mark and we receive a blessing with chill beats running till the end. ‘Body Melt’ comes next and with it a frenetic pace. A thriller song that amplifies suspicion building up to a point where adrenaline will, for sure, be needed. ‘Process of Decay’ continues to blend cinematic elements with electro-industrial pieces; something straight out of a soundtrack for a sci-fi film based off of humanity and the loss of it when machine replaces flesh.
‘Descent’ might be one of the simpler songs on the album and one that isn’t as technically impressive to me as the others. A small bassline ramping up tension; I could easily see this working in a scene in a movie where hard facts are being laid out, a revelation occurs, that sort of thing. But on its own I don’t see a point to it. ‘Blight’ has the most IDM elements out of all the songs on Part II so far. A beautiful ticking time bomb; excellent texture work and angelic synths that offer a look at ascension. The final song on the album is another one that I wasn’t too fond of. A lot of droning synths that aren’t all that unique or as technical as other work present on the album. It’s dull by comparison and something that I hear from a ton of dark ambient artists in the field.
Regardless of how I feel about two of the twelve songs present on these brothers in a series, Sleepless Droids has accomplished something special. A twelve-track spectacle of sci-fi and cyberpunk storytelling and enigma; a dialog where you can put the pieces together yourself to weave your own tale. And these are the types of albums that I enjoy oh so much; a loose concept album that makes you think while sounding phenomenal. Easily one of the better albums I’ve heard this year and one that I highly recommend to everyone. Now, let's just hope we'll see a physical version of this one day.Nov 19 2023
Industrial Metal project Binary Order releases potential final album "The Future Belongs To The Mad"
I've been writing for Brutal Resonance since November of 2012 and now serve as the editor-in-chief. I love the dark electronic underground and usually have too much to listen to at once but I love it. I am also an editor at Aggressive Deprivation, a digital/physical magazine since March of 2016. I support the scene as much as I can from my humble laptop.
Share this review