Buried Angel – Sleep Tsunami
Upon first glance, Sleep Tsunami appears to be I Am Chesumasuta Pt. II. They utilize extremely affected vocalizations as melodic leads, feature a preponderance of distorted keyboards, emphasize a theme of self-abstraction, and have pink album artworks!
Sleep Tsunami is the first of twelve planned albums to be released as a part of Vault XYO, the third of Dream Catalogue’s series of Vault imprints – fourth if you count Nirvana Port – and one that is mentioned as being filled with gold so blinding that the team responsible for retrieving the albums must wear protective gear as to not be overwhelmed with its radiance.1 As with the other Vault XYO albums, Sleep Tsunami is marketed as being one of the “oldest” recordings present within the vault, as if the HEKAT company responsible for unearthing these is from some far-distance future in which digital archaeology is a lucrative and dangerous business.
Fit for the “ancient” theme here (also hinted by Ancient Sandtimer’s Stay Away via Vault EVE), Sleep Tsunami features decrepit-sounding tracks that recall the magnet-pressed-against-a-hard-drive sounds that prominently appeared on TKX Vault albums such as Film Noir by Vision Girl and the first ULTRACOMPUTER album. “Water Ritual” and “Prophecy Tablet” are incredibly screwed up, like the equivalent of JPEG distortion on an image that’s continually uploaded/re-uploaded to different sources.2 However, some tracks are extremely clear, hinting toward the narrative of Vault XYO that the HEKAT Company is not the first organization to infiltrate the vault: “Crying Angel” is the best example of this, which fittingly follows up “Water Ritual”.
Several tracks feature fragmented vocals that are nigh-impossible to interpret, almost to the point of becoming indistinguishable from the electronic synthesizers and digital effects. Opening track “A City with No Name” provides the best example, and its lead is revisited upon final track “Residual Catacombs” – another hint as to the purpose behind Vault XYO, along with “Children of Gold”. Lots of tracks feature reverberating echo, as if the recording published by the HEKAT Company is that which was played within the Vault itself. “Tsunami Dance” is the closest thing to Dream Catalogue circa-Fall 2016, featuring some bass-thumping ghost tech beats with vinyl crackle and more prominent vocals.
If you’ve ever been interested in the overarching narrative behind the Vaults, then Sleep Tsunami is a good place to begin. As implied by the circumstances behind Vault XYO, it’s pretty out-there compared to the other Vaults, but still closer to reality than sister releases by Aot Lam and KEITOBOT. Give it a listen and experience one of the challenging and exciting avenues of modern electronic music that proves innovation will not run its course any time soon.
1. A City with No Name – (3:42)
2. Masked Dance – (2:34)
3. Water Ritual – (2:02)
4. Crying Angel – (5:05)
5. Children of Gold – (2:24)
6. Prophecy Tablet – (1:08)
7. Tsunami Dance – (4:34)
8. She Sits Cross-Legged beyond the Ocean in Divine Sleep – (2:28)
9. Residual Catacombs – (2:29)
1… kinda like how the Emerald City is depicted in Frank L. Baum’s The Wizard of Oz novel. The protagonists must wear glasses with green lenses, lest they be blinded by the sheer brilliance of the city.
2Basically, the audio equivalent of this XKCD comic.