Review of The Sleeping Morning [12k2007]

Silent Ballet (.COM)

It is an interesting concept; melting classically inclined, chamber style acoustic musings with numb, void electronic acid, The Sleeping Morning is a demonstration of electro-acoustic experimentation in an interestingly sparse and spacey medium. Bells, whistles, sine waves, and processed percussion mingle with airy lines of beat-less acoustic breath. Roaming synths provide a sense of delicate ambience and warmth, speaking volumes in long, droning phrases.

This release has a definitively free feeling to it. Without consistent time or percussion, the different harmonic elements are free to roam, drifting through ideas and phrases in the space between structure and chaos. Vocals move through repetitious lines, “rise and fall, rise and fall…” A somewhat psychedelic vibe runs through the crackling, reverbed tracks, communicating a smoky grey calm. The Sleeping Morning drips cool. A Tim Leary and Ken Kesey cool — a sort of detached significance that flows from inner peace and experience. This album demonstrates that quality of experience and maturity best. There are no gimmicks, no cheap production tricks, just solid, powerful, laid back electro-acoustic cool.

All of this praise does not come without some setbacks. “The Youthful Sea” ditches all the great qualities of the first four tracks. Here Savvas and Deupree lose the light touch and minimal musings that made the first tracks great. Vocals on this track are stereotypical, derivative of one of the world’s most overrated musicians, Beck. The music falls into all the failings of “indietronica” and other less mature genres of today, complete with novelty store beats and awkward acoustic guitar sampling. It’s a shame this near dynamic duo had to end on such a sour note.

Barring “Youthful Sea,” The Sleeping Morning shows promise and maturity. However, it does step into occasional cliches, as mentioned. On top of that, clocking in at 21 minutes, it’s too short to satisfy those who want another full on Deupree/Ysatis opus. A promising album, but not quite reaching its full potential. – -Jack Britton

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