It’s not often I hear a band with the kind of vision of Sleep Machine. It’s early Pink Floyd meets Tchaikovsky in the 21st century.
In addition to composing music for film and video games, Eddie Marianukroh is the guitarist, arranger and programmer for Sleep Machine. He’s joined by Oren Kadosh (vocals), Jesse Starr (bass), and Jon Fishman (drums). The members grew up and went to school together in Dallas, Texas. They eventually migrated to New York City and now live in East Harlem – with the exception of Fishman, who still lives in Dallas.
Eddie provided an interesting description of the band:
We are currently a group of musicians that grew up together and are now collaborating together to mesh all the wacky sounds that we hear in our head into one cohesive piece so that other people may listen to our madness.
Wacky madness? I guess that depends on one’s perspective. Certainly by mainstream standards, Sleep Machine is playing outside the box – not that there’s anything wrong with that. In this case, it turns out be everything that’s right.
Their first release is The Mindloss EP. On the first listen, it sounded to me like the album was put together as a suite, or a symphony in four movements. I asked Eddie about that:
The EP is meant to be taken as a whole, with the form partly inspired by Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6, “Pathétique”. The seamless transition from “Paranoia” to “I, The Enigma (A Familiar Stranger),” to a climax that is “Parabola for the Man” followed by the moment of death that is “Requiem Sans Merci” (inspired by John Keat’s poem, “La Belle Dame Sans Merci”) is to be listened to as if you were reading a story or watching a film.
The flow is quite apparent. It begins with the aptly-named Paranoia, which moves through a maelstrom of psychic instability before settling into an uneasy dream-like calm. That segues into I, The Enigma, and from here to the end it’s a swirl of sound that alternately ebbs and flows or rattles the senses.
Eddie also talked about the concept of the album:
“The feeling of having had and lost some infinite thing tempered by the fact that you are still experiencing this ambiguity with the people you care for (and with people that hopefully care about you). Through this, are these people you are with feeling the same feelings as you?”
The music is meticulously produced, bringing out the many nuances of the recording. As pointed out, this EP needs to be heard as a whole so I suggest going over to Soundcloud to soak it all in.
Can I guarantee you’ll like it? Let’s just say that if you open your mind, your ears will undoubtedly follow.