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Behind Every Mask

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Reseña de álbum

Behind Every Mask is an album title that just oozes sneaking suspicion and paranoia, and Sleeper digs deep into those feelings, turning them into gritty and often witty songs that straddle the line between instrumental hip-hop and electronic music. Sleeper uses a fairly limited palette — a few live drums, lots of programmed ones, synths that are thick and fuzzy or clear and pure, and the occasional guitar or spoken word sample — to create a variety of sounds that conjure dense, urban dystopias and the stories inside them. His way with beats, from "Abdomen"'s acrobatic drumming to "B.F.U."'s cascading rhythms, give Behind Every Mask's tracks a real sense of momentum. This is especially important, considering that Sleeper's compositions are pretty linear, usually building on a single theme or mood for the duration. That said, he explores each mood to its fullest, imbuing it with lots of personality. "Witch Hunt"'s vocal snippets suggest eavesdropping on shortwave radio, its woozy synth melody making it even uneasier listening; "9th Grade" is equally paranoid and pretty, with remarkable texture and depth as well as a very sharp edge, courtesy of its active, hip-hop-tinged drums. While there's an ominous undercurrent on almost all of Behind Every Mask's tracks, Sleeper often adds a sense of humor to the menace. Machinery that is dysfunctional or destructive is a major theme, especially on "Mr. Megatron," which sounds like a giant robot on a rampage, "Faulty"'s short-circuiting melody, and "Condition or Effect," which begins with a sample of someone saying "I think the drum machine was one of the worst inventions of the 20th century" before launching into a super-stiff mechanical beat and fake brass. Behind Every Mask is no stranger to human dysfunction, either; "Insult Groove" is as brash and atonal as its title suggests, kicking off with what sounds like an angry tirade from a Speak 'N' Spell and one of the album's most kinetic basslines. "Failure to Communicate," meanwhile, is equally uneasy, sexy and funny, turning listeners into voyeurs overhearing a deceptively intimate conversation adrift in a synth haze. As impressive as Behind Every Mask's dark and dense moments are, the album's more delicate tracks suggest a different side to Sleeper's evocative sound. "White Sky" and "Nothing New" are chilly and bittersweet, while "Gone"'s simple, slightly rippling drones make it a surprisingly poignant highlight. Not only does Behind Every Mask have a strong sense of identity, it also suggests a lot of potential for where Sleeper's music could go next.


Se formó en: 1993 en London, England

Género: Electrónica

Años de actividad: '90s, '00s

The band is composed of Louise Wener (vocals, guitar), Jon Stewart (guitar), Andy Maclure (drums), Diid Osman (bass). Wener and Stewart met at while studying politics at school in Manchester, England. Relocating to London, the two recruited Osman and Maclure and began playing Wener's original songs. The group made its debut in 1993, which led to a series of positive reviews in the British music weeklies. By November of 1993, the group had released an independent single ("Alice in Vain"). In February...
Biografía completa

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Behind Every Mask, Sleeper
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