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  • Filed under: Review
  • 11/22/2013

Sleeparchive A Man Dies in the Street Pt.2

Regis and Function credit the first release from Sleeparchive (a.k.a. Roger Semsroth) as the inspiration around which Sandwell District formed. Released in 2004, Elephant Island has aged well, and its impact on Sandwell District's 2010 album Feed-Forward is clear. Nearly a decade has passed since Semroth's influential debut first surfaced, yet the man still hasn't changed his template. This is his second offering from the A Man Dies in the Street series, EPs inspired by the Brassaï photographs of the same name, and it finds Semsroth so focused on pursuing the formal core of the Sleeparchive project that he doesn't bother to invite listeners in. This is loop techno with no exit and minimal acknowledgement of anything outside of itself. Calling these tracks DJ tools sounds too social.

Listening to earlier Sleeparchive material in light of this EP's intensity, songs like "Elephant Island" sound outrageously expressive. The tracks here—titled with the numerals 5 through 8—are airless. They're all around four minutes long and sound as if they were cut out of longer sessions where, one might fantasize, a kick, bleep, or hi-hat would drop out every so often. It's a flat enough listening experience to make Dettmann II seem humane, but its affect is closer to fellow Tresor affiliate Terrence Dixon. Both are fond of setting sounds in baleful, lopsided orbits, creating an almost medieval sense of space inside their tracks. Unfortunately though, the dour A Man Dies in the Street Pt.2 doesn't bristle with Dixon's abstract energy.

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