Listencorp review image of the book of sleep by qualchan

the book of sleep



Liam Murphy

May 28, 2020

Tracks in this feature

Tracks in this release

A hazy shroud of sound falls like a tropic mist as Qualchan welcomes us to the book of sleep. real…

A hazy shroud of sound falls like a tropic mist as Qualchan welcomes us to the book of sleep. real steppers. feels as though we’ve been roused from a troubled sleep in the midst of a huge pagan celebration. Electronic sounds whippet and warble, diving in between the endless pulsing of percussion. The atmosphere is one of a trance-like state, screeching instruments gliding past us as we are carried on a bed of undulating rhythm.

cinemax. fades in with a bouncing electronic melodies. Evolving pads flow calmly underneath as Qualchan keeps a swift pace. Carrying more overt sadness and longing than the first track, Qualchan sets up a tendency to switch the airspace very early on.

clap em. augments the feeling of the collection of songs further as with its leisurely speed and rich textures. Here the artist falls back into the loop-based work the listener may know from their recent work. A vocal line is buffeted gently on the ripples of sound, sinking and bobbing in the distance with a beautiful cadence. Throbbing bassline pushes an austere sequence toward the listener in move different. A piano’s single notes echoes past the obstacles of percussion, gliding over the landscape. The tone is one of depth, but Qualchan’s imaginative layering keeps it from miring the listener in slushy sound.

blue wave. contrasts a tight, sparkling synth melody with sweeps of grainy drum sequencing. The lead melody glimmers on the sienna horizon as Qualchan shifts the atmosphere with brief one-minute interludes.

push up. utilises the sleepy effect of slowed sampling to create a smouldering, slow-moving rhythm. A saxophone breathes in the humid environment of the track, mellow keys stretching out into the mix. The loop-based brevity continues with circle. A repetitive drumbeat guides the way for a shrouded and obscure melody to float by us. Beautiful high-pitched keys peel off, standing out momentarily before being swallowed into the wall of sound.

A synth line leads flap that jib jab. confidently, setting a sombre tone amidst a tense and dramatic drumbeat. A shining example of how some tracks on the album wallow in a sad and lonely mood Qualchan engineers perfectly.

Another summery, beat-tape style track comes in the form of work. Halcyon synths spray out as Qualchan welcomes us into a sun-kissed cityscape. We ride back seat of a top-down cadillac, with bass booming and hip-hop-esque synth sounds emanating from our vehicle out into the beautiful glowing scenery. For a track entitled work., it seems to revel in a wonderfully relaxing sound.

summertooth. continues this vibe. A simplistic drumbeat with trickling hi-hats allows crystalline glaciers of sound to melt. The artist delights in warm sounds, rich in low end undulations.

two sips and a flex. evolves slower than the tracks previous. A muffled synth yawns slowly, opening up to the listener with a beautiful chord sequence. The keys stay hunkered down in the lower end of the frequency range. Sloshing about as an astute percussive section keeps things approachable.

slide through. hits with clear piano notes, dramatic and heartfelt. The beat pulses behind, laying groundwork for Qualchan to deliver a short, sharp track tinged with heartbreak.

one & ten. brings us careering back into the sunlight with beautiful lounge piano and another vocal sample that stretches past us into the sky. Keeping things slow, the artist is able to balance between a chilled atmosphere, and one that finds us caught in an intense glare of orange light.

The heady brilliance of 90s lounge music emanates from facts. Light, twinkling piano keys atop deep, bubbling percussion. What’s striking at this point is Qualchan’s ability to create a distinct mood in a matter of seconds. Giving himself mere moments to express a feeling to the listener, the artist seems to do so effortlessly.

i’m on go. slides through with catchy rhythms and wavering, mellow keys. The notes that bleed through the gaps in the drum sequencing do so with such precious reverberation. Qualchan protects the fragility of the melodic elements from the heavy-handed and unflinching percussive repetition.

learn some. is the shortest track on the project, standing at a mere 42 seconds. An echoing, organic drum loop appears aside solemn keys. These moments are emotive, but Qualchan hides the nucleus of the emotion behind the heady gauze of sample-based production.

drop the pin. sends warm warblings toward the listener, a tinkling piano lying casually between relaxation and eeriness. Piano notes bloom like flowers out of the soupy production, surely influenced by chilled electronic pioneers such as Kinobe and Groove Armada.

a beat for andy votel. takes a more freeform approach than what we have heard so far. A tinny toy-like synth dabbles around a minor riff, repeating the same melodically catchy motif as the instrumentation behind rises and billows like plums of smoke.

We end with a 4 and a half minute track. A euphoric swathe of reversed melodies writhe over eachother in a space devoid of any explicit mood or feeling. Breathy voices are worked into the intricate layers of the track, the inhalation icy and sinister. The track keeps this ambivalent style, simply flowing backwards, sucking in each wave of guitar or synth sound. Qualchan doesn’t simply leave it at that though. The layers of reverb and delay the sample is lacquered with give the illusion of progression at times. The loop sounding slightly different than the time before as everything moves amorphously before disappearing.

With the book of sleep., Qualchan presents a collection dynamic shorts that each have a beautifully rich texture to them. The artist delights in emulating the laidback sounds of lounge music and the smoother side of beat-tape hip-hop, with each instrumental providing a lush sonic landscape to get caught up in, if only for a short while.