Friday, 31 January 2014
Sleep Clinic based out Los Angeles, is the work of artist Jeff Swearengin. When listening to Sleep Clinic you really get the sense of being in another space and time, traveling through structures and dimensions. It's not the kind of music you just listen to you have to just feel it and let it take you where it wants you to be. Sleep clinic embraces dark ambient vibes that you could fall into, but also mixes it with dense beats that will keep you on edge which creates an intense but soothing experience.
Sleep Clinic exclusive mixtape for Cultwave radio get it here:
In a brief interview I asked him for a little history of the project and how it all began...
"It all started as a way to articulate things I couldn't by way of visual and spoken forms of expression. I always wanted it to be maps or diagrams of realities that had come to be, or that had come to pass"...
Jeff started to experiment with music at an early age playing first with traditional instruments like drums, guitars and eventually bass guitar. After being exposed to different types of electronic music he grew really bored with range of sounds that traditional instruments could produce. Jeff began recording his own sounds by the age of 15 and also acquainting himself with different types of gear and approaches to recording and creating music and sound. And that began his obsession into synthesis, sampling, effects, and dynamics.
His first and most immediate influence coming from a mostly metal background as a kid was Godflesh's Slavestate EP (quickly followed by the rest of their discography which ended at 1994's Selfless at the time). He was completely majorly obsessed and still to this day is obsessed with Godflesh. This gave way to other bands he hadn't really given much of a chance to previously that were more industrial less metal such as Throbbing Gristle, Skinny Puppy, Nurse With Wound, Coil, Whitehouse etc.
"Once I sort of broke out of industrial and metal and got more into Techno, Breaks, Electro, IDM etc...All that stuff had huge inspirational waypoints for me."
Aside from them Autechre completely changed his perspective on music and what it could be.
"The power their music had to completely change the environment around you and to take you elsewhere, was and still is a huge experience."
Around the age of 19 he started doing sound installations, and everything he previously recorded was using for these installations. Most of which were long playing around 45 minutes or longer. Which took place in various galleries and museum spaces. These installations were usually experiments that involved a rack of samplers, maxmsp and sensors to trigger off samples to create custom soundtracks to spaces. And you can still get a sense of these early experiments with sound in his current works.
"Even when I makes music now it's all mostly improvised and surfaces organically...I never sit down and say I'm going to make a techno song..I think it's just what I was doing at the time naturally lent itself to that kind of set and setting. I also didn't see any labels being interested in some kid from Texas's music so I just went with it"
2004 was the first time he officially released any of his work. Secret Tapes a collection of audio experiments compiled from tape demos and unreleased tracks from 2000-2002. It was released by Infaction Records which later became Decisive Sound. A net label ran by his friend Stanley Robinson who also run's Re:automation Radio.
Listen and download "Secret Tapes" free here:
"I had released Secret Tapes near the time of John Balance's death and that was sort of a tribute to him and Coil, and this sort of esoteric mist that comes with their territory. When Sleazy moved on it was just a reaction to that event and also this kind of loss of an artist[s] who's work has reached in to many places and spaces, and the celebration of that as well. With secret tapes I think that was more of a timing thing that John Balance had died while this was being put together. The recording sessions on that and a bulk of that output was I think a decent reflection at that time of the impact and influence/inspiration they had on me"
Then released this at the time of Peter's death as tribute to the work of Peter Christopherson, Who was one of his biggest influences, and also one of the founding members of Throbbing Gristle's, Psychic TV and also later Coil with John Balance.
Sleazy Functions - A Tribute To Peter Christopherson
Sleep Clinic's latest work "A Chance, A Curse" was released 25 November 2013 on Chondritic Sound
"These passages are all soundtracks that articulate a period of my life which would both deconstruct and destroy parts of me and give strength and skin to other parts.
A diagram that maps out a very long, subtle, unfolding resentment and anger that was injected with spoiled time...causing a fuzz mold to encapsulate, confuse, and poison every thought and feeling that would present itself in my streaming.
Discover how sensitive you are to the chaos of choice, chance, and curse.
In memory of who I used to be"
Also check out his previous works "Dream Programs" Which was released in 2012 by Squarewav
Sleep Clinic – Dream Programs
"Dream Programs is a soundtrack designed to accompany one’s journey into subconscious discovering fears and desires. Warm ambient sounds build on subtle impending modulation to potentially formulate wild hallucinations."
And also "Hatching" Which was recorded March 2004 Live
Sleep Clinic - Hatching
Find mixes here on mixcloud:
SoundCloud : https://soundcloud.com/sleep-clinic