Gareth Davis * Celestino * Eric Holm



Slaapwel  (Sleep Well) is the Belgian label that is devoted to releasing music to sleep to. Or, to be more exact: “music for the moments when you’re not sleepy enough to fall asleep, and not lively enough to keep doing stuff. Music that soundtracks the thin border between being asleep and lying awake”.
With their earlier releases, all packed in lovely hand assembled cardboard packages, Slaapwel has built such a solid reputation that many of their followers (like me) blindly order a new release. Which obviously also means you better not hesitate too long if you want to score a physical copy.

Gareth Davis Filament  is their 13th release (the content manager of the  Slaapwel site release page probably dozed off too, since it misses the last two titles). And, once again, it’s a thing of beauty worth checking out.

A 35 minute solo performance by Gareth Davis on bass- and contrabass clarinet, field recordings, effect pedals and electronics. Soft breathing accents are placed subtly over a droney atmospheric background. The soft sleepy (duh!) atmosphere is carefully maintained throughout the piece, avoiding climaxes, while at the same time there’s enough details to keep your attention.

Like most other Slaapwel  releases, the music is simply too beautiful to fall asleep.



“Occasionally composers can generate an environment that is utterly personal yet still invitational to the listener – Celestino is one such artist capable of doing this.”
This may read like a general promo blurb, but when the recommendation is a quote coming from Lawrence English, it’s better to take it seriously and check it out.
Beyond Enemy is one of a new series of releases on the Room40 sublabel A Guide To Saintsdedicated to music in cassette format (and luckily digital too: “we’re not thát idealogical”).

Celestino is Portland based Gabriel Celestino Higgins. This is his second Guide To Saints release, following Kindling (2013). The music was composed while camping on the Tundra of North Alaska – which explains for the desolate atmosphere.

“A vague industrial overtone reigns throughout much of this edition, a smoggy beauty akin to light caught in tainted cloud.”

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The basic sound materials for Barotrauma was recorded in the Nordic fjords south of Oslo. But the soundscapes are quite different from what you might expect:
“Like environments on land, the seabed is populated with machines, industry, and noise. Interference is everywhere. Engines, equipment, drilling: it is a mirror of on-land environmental exploitation.”

Dark, industrial, sub-aquatic soundscapes – created from sounds collected from the sea floor and sub-sea equipment. Yet this isn’t an ‘environmental’ underwater recording in the strict sense, since Eric Holm manipulated and processed the soundscapes into this underwater vision.
Barotrauma is Holm‘s second album, following up 2014’s equally fascinating debut Andøyawhich was constructed out of two 30 second recordings of Arctic powerlines.

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