Somnus – Sleep

Recommendation: ☀☀☁

Somnus is an alias of Pyravid, a well-known producer who’s tried their hand at several strains of vaporwave and its related genres over the years. Starting with Googleplex Bionetwork on the Dream Catalogue label, Pyravid released a couple pure vaporwave albums and had tracks included on high-profile compilations such as The Eternal Dream System, Abstract Memories 3, and Best of Dream Catalogue, 2814-2815. Eventually, Pyravid became disinterested in vaporwave; Pyravid was featured on Antifur’s genre-defining (literally) Hardvapour compilation in March 2016. Four months later, Pyravid released another hardvapour album on Antifur called I$I$, which was a forty-five minute, four-track release of heavily industrial-influenced hardvapour with a supremely belligerent aesthetic.

That Pyravid would try their hand at ghost tech is unsurprising, given their timely exploration of extant trends and close professional relationship with Dream Catalogue (which was an early proponent of both hardvapour and ghost tech through imprints and parent). Tekres is not a Dream Catalogue affiliate – being owned and operated by Halo Acid – but it is professionally and creatively associated with HKE, who is Dream Catalogue’s main creative force and contributed to the first Tekres album No Dreams. Sleep is Tekres’s second album, released about a month and a half after No Dreams, and it’s the first for Pyravid as Somnus.1

The tracks of Sleep are generally composed in a similar manner to early-90s techno music. Tracks begin with rhythmically complex beats in 4/4 time that gradually give way to four-on-the-floor bass kicks. Songs such as “Faith” utilize the Bolero Effect, whereby the same rhythmic beat is played as more and more elements are added to the mix. However, unlike classical pieces or rock music that uses this trope, Sleep eschews cacophony. Several songs are led melodically and rhythmically by the bass – another early-90s techno and house music trope – with “Golden Embryo” providing Sleep‘s strongest offering of such. In contrast to the clear production of other Tekres albums such as Join Us by MOD-COMM 81, Sleep generally features lower fidelity percussion with slight compression. The amount of low fidelity is slightly different over the album’s run – compare “Sleep” with “Cosmic Heat” – which provides a nice amount of diversity without being discursive. The electronic melodies are typically twinkly and wistful in atmosphere; here, the fidelity does not change so much per track, which keeps Sleep consistent yet stimulating in self-contrast.

Ghost tech is a bit of a niche, with Pyramids and Tekres being the only two practicing labels. However, albums such as Sleep demonstrate that ghost tech is a stylistically diverse and inventive scene that has extreme potential. If you are interested in ghost tech but are not quite what to think of its relationship to cyberpunk art at large, Sleep is a great place to start in context of its creator’s history and as a stand-alone piece of music.



1. Deva – (1:57)
2. Aditi – (5:20)
3. Faith – (5:54)
4. Sleep – (2:53)
5. Funeral Fire – (4:00)
6. Paraloka – (5:13)
7. Golden Embryo – (3:24)
8. Niramin – (3:53)
9. Cosmic Heat- (4:26)
10. Indra – (4:22)
11. Surya – (2;24)
12. Acid Dreamz – (6:56)


1“Somnus” refers to the personification of sleep within Roman mythology. The Greek analogue is Hypnos. Hence, words such as “isomnia”, “hypnotic”, and “somnambulant”.


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