UK Artist sleepisformortals Delivers New EP
By: Brandon Llamas
“Cybergrunge” is an apt way to describe Conversion//Overhaul, the 2018 three-track EP by U.K.-based musician, Sleepisformortals, currently available on all major streaming services.
“Conversion means the process of changing or causing something to change from one form to another and overhaul means to take apart (machinery or equipment) in order to examine it and repair if necessary,” said Sleep, in a recent interview over Instagram. “These two words jus [sic] went so well together for me and the message I wanna get across.”
The first song off the project, “343 Guilty Spark”, introduces Sleep’s aggressively processed sound perfectly. Taking its name from an important side character in the Halo video game franchise, this track wears the fast-paced, sci-fi action of the game on its sleeve, serving as the soundtrack to some interstellar battle between the forces of good and evil, where the odds are skewed greatly in the latter’s favor.
At almost five and a half minutes long, “Castle”, the second track, feels hazy, with stark flashes of clarity bouncing back and forth between high and low pitched vocals, painting a vivid portrait of the artist fading in and out of consciousness and bringing the two ends of this project together beautifully.
Conversion//Overhaul’s closure comes in the form of “Floodgate [C:]”, the third and final song on the project. Hard-hitting percussion and twitchy melodies in the instrumental dance around each other fluidly, as Sleep’s own distorted vocals take the forefront of the song, and the accompanying, self-directed music video pairs footage from the previously mentioned Halo series with ethereal webcam shots to create a musical homage to Paranormal Activity.
Throughout the project, production from Network, Blank Body, and Haardtek work together to create a digital dreamscape of sound, ranging from heavy and hellish rave music to colorful instrumentals that wouldn’t sound out of place in Blade Runner. The instrumental work on “Castle”, especially, stands out due to blank body’s mysterious online presence and his work with other underground musicians such as Night Lovell and Sybyr.
“It was something I feel I needed to do to kinda change the direction I wanted to... not even jus [sic] in music but in life as well. I just spent almost a year rebuilding myself layer to layer and recovering from hard drug addiction… It’s jus [sic] basically me making an effort… and realizing what actually matters and what I need to do with the sh*t that matters,” he said.
His gritty style in both his music and its presentation reflect the grunge surge of the mid 1980’s, as well as the current explosion of DIY artists across SoundCloud, but his approach to his art is his entirely his own.
Sleep is currently working on numerous creative ventures, including a longer musical project and several music videos. You can keep up with him via his Instagram or SoundCloud accounts under the name “sleepisformortals”.