Sonmi451 – Ruis


The Slaapwel  label, specialised in music to fall asleep to, is becoming more collectible with every release.

The previous (six) releases were all very beautiful (package ánd music-wise) and perfectly fitted the purpose they were created for: dozing away quietly, listening to music that is ‘interesting and boring at the same time’.

Among the previous performers were Peter Broderick, Greg Haines, Machinefabriek + Soccer Committee and Jasper TX. (check [here] for some Slaapwel-reviews on

This seventh release in this remarkable series is this one, called “Ruis” by Somni451.

Ruis” literally means ‘Noise‘ which suggests about the total opposite of the music it contains: 32 calm minutes, slowly building but without climax. The basic piano layers resemble the sound of Brian Eno‘s Neroli, though the composition here is more repetitive than generative.

Ruis” is like a comfortable bed: the lower region drones and chords carry you like a comfortable soft mattress, while the higher note sequences fold around your head like a pillow.
When playing music like this, you’d almost wish for insomnia…

Somni451 is the alias of Bernard Zwijzen from Hasselt, Belgium. He has been releasing electronic music under this name since 2005, mostly on the U-cover label.
If, like me, you wonder about the alias, his website helps:
“Sonmi451 is a character from David Mitchell’s novel “Cloud Atlas” who works as a slave-robot in an underground dinerplace, in a society called Nea So Copros in the distant future. It’s quite a sympathetic humanoïd, who’s aspiring efforts to become enlightened are brutally oppressed by a totalitarian, consumer-driven regime.”

Like all previous Slaapwel  releases, Ruis is beautifully packed in a handstamped cardboard cover including a print designed by Louis Reith.

Though printed in a larger edition (500 copies this time), the physical release will probably sell out quickly (leaving only the digital download).  So, like label owner Wim Maesschalk said: “don’t sleep over it for too long…”

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