I literally have no fucking idea where these guys came out of; but well, now they are here, so we must acknowledge their existence, cause this is some next level shit that is so good it’s almost impossible to describe. 夢遊病者 – AKA Sleepwalkers – literally came out of fucking nowhere. In fact, I’m not even sure how I found out about them, but I did, and when I did, my mind was blown so far I could barely believe my own ears. Sleepwalkers mix kraut rock, noise rock, black metal, shoegaze and ambient to DEVASTATING effects. The mix of genres they have attempted is as much bizarre as is it amazing. Much like one of those impossible objects designed by Escher, Sleepwalker’s music also seems impossible, yet they materialized it, and they have crafted it and presented it to us with such class, taste and finesse that it will literally steal your senses and lock you into a surreal state of trance and bewilderment, as if you have been drugged by some kind marvelous narcotic. Imagine Can, Faust, US Christmas, Nadja, Grey Daturas, Zeni Geva, Acid Mothers Temple and My Bloody Valentine forced into a darkened tunnel of (early) black metal chaos (Darkthrone, Peste Noire, Dark Funeral, Burzum etc.), and you will (perhaps) be not far from imagining what Sleepwalker are all about. But simple comparisons, examples and references are hard, and words still can not truly do justice to this music. You really have to hear it to believe it…
It’s worth mentioning that Sleepwalkers have two EPs out: 5772, their latest one, and the debut EP titled”統合失調症の飢餓 or Schizophrenia of Hunger (?), which precedes it. Both have been released close to each other and both are equally just fucking insane. Today, both EPs are contained on the tape the band has just released which contains 5772 on the A side and 統合失調症の飢餓 on the B side (AKA the 統合失調症の飢餓 + 5772 Limited Edition cassette tape – get it HERE!).
5772 – or side A – is perhaps slightly more polished and layered as far as production goes, so among all the swarming chaos of guitars, blown out bass and washed out vocals, you can very well hear all the incredibly bizzarre but refined aspects of Sleepwalkers’ music. You’ll hear some pretty incredible solos and black metal passages crawling out among a surreal and constant storm of dense as magma space rock dirges of the most epic and captivating craft. I’m not exactly sure where this band comes from or who is a part of it, but aside from the name and titles, it appears pretty obvious that they have something to do with Japan, or it seems safe to say that perhaps at least one of the members is from Japan. It’s pretty impossible to deny that “No Flowers,” for example, sounds just like a fucked up version of Boris being choked to death in an abyss of total black metal absurdity.
統合失調症の飢餓 – or side B – on the other hand is equally visionary and absurd but also more raw and feral sounding. This is their first release and you can tell that it’s a starting point. The opening track “I,” with its overly oppressive mid-tempo Burzum-like blackened murk will make this clear from the start. “II,” on the other hand, is a more chaotic and demented affair. It sounds almost like an impossible jam between Deathspell Omega and No Means No (!!!). Basically, a total headfuck. “III” is similar, but has a more pronounced space/kraut rock feel to it, and overall shows the band’s psychedelic traits taken to unthinkable extremes. “IV” is another hard headfuck, but transfigured to a different plain. It has a bizarre punk/grind vibe reminiscent of Ruins or Naked City, but the production is so murky and bass-heavy, and the arrangements so fucked and demented, that any reference point is lost and disintegrated into a kaleidoscope of horrific sonic madness.
I can’t really stress enough how important and totally fucked this band is. It’s one of those superlatively precious things that will just pop out of nowhere once in a blue moon and which must be immediately absorbed and kept jealously. Plus, we don’t really know anything else about them, so all there is to nerd out over is their insanely visionary and absurd music. Enjoy!