Sleep Research Facility – Stealth


It’s an interesting aside that the two masters of deep drone, some of the very few artists able to create soundscapes that seem to span the complete universe – Thomas Köner and Sleep Research Facility – release their new album in the same month.  

Five years after his latest album, Deep Friezeand eleven years after his legendary landmark debut Nostromo, Sleep Research Facility (Kevin Doherty from Glasgow, Scotland) returns with Stealth“. 

And, like watching the universe at night, the overall view of this album may seem the same – but the difference is in the details.
And the longer you watch, the more details you will see.

Part of the magic of Nostromo was that it took the sound and the inspiration from the first minutes of Alien.
It just featured the deep humming sounds of the spaceship, venturing deeper and deeper into each lowering deck, thus creating the ultimate outer-space feeling. (If you don’t know this album: get it! It is every bit a Classic). 

In a way, Stealth” follows the same path. But, compared to the somewhat romantic (yet dark) fantasy of the Alien spaceship, the basic material used here is a lot less romantic: these 5 tracks are “mixed and edited from re-sampled location recordings originally captured inside the hanger environs of a Northrop-Grumman B-2 Stealth Bomber, during a period of downtime maintenance at a U.S. Air Force base in Cambridgeshire, England.”  
A weapon of destruction that deserves no right to exist and one should not want to relate to in any way.
But there’s some strange attraction hidden in things that should be feared, and with these sounds Kevin Doherty manages to relate death to eternity – in an acoustical sense anyway. 

Though the music on this album will be often referred to as drone music, careful listening (preferably with headphones) will reveal that it isn’t, because there always something different going on, the musical spectre is constantly changing.
Hums fade in and fade out, electrical sounds emerge and recede. “Sounds neither here nor there, textures camouflaged against their own background noise, and the distant crackling telemetric code-speak of a vague humanity hidden behind a cloak of deadly high-technology.” 

A new Thomas Köner AND Sleep Research Facility release in the same month. I would not even complain if these were the only two releases for a full year! 

By the way: first 1000 copies of Stealth” feature an extra CD called “Sources”, featuring the original field recordings and the source audio from which “Stealth” was reconstituted. Its short opener track may sound a bit harsh, as to emphasize that you are listening to the unedited material. But when you tune in to these sounds they also reveal what beauty inspired Kevin Doherty  to work on this impressive album.  


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *