Blue Stahli
Antisleep Vol. 03


2.5
average

Review

by Alex Beebe USER (126 Reviews)
December 19th, 2012 | 17 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Electronic music clichés spread out across a collection of underwhelmingly short instrumental songs.

Bret Autrey, the sole member of industrial music project Blue Stahli is a lot like his labelmate and mentor Celldweller. Both artists compose and perform all their music by themselves and they don’t strictly limit their sound to industrial alone; delving into elements of other electronic music subgenres such as drum and bass, dubstep, accessible radio rock, and even just simple electronica. The biggest similarity between the two however, is their mutual interest in instrumental music.

While Celldweller has released two volumes in his Soundtrack for the Voices in My Head series, which is a running side-chain of instrumental electronic music albums - separate from his main studio albums - that he states to have created with the intention of licensing its songs to score TV shows, movies, and video games, Blue Stahli’s debut album was the first volume in Autrey’s own continuing series of instrumental-based electronic albums dubbed, Antisleep. The Antisleep series can be considered as main albums in Blue Stahli’s catalogue, as with the release of the third Antisleep volume, three out of the four Blue Stahli albums to come out so far have been all been volumes in the instrumental-based series.

The most disappointing aspect of Antisleep Vol. 03 is its shockingly short length. Clocking in at only 26 minutes, Vol. 03 is barely just a couple of minutes over half the length of the preceding two installments runtimes of 42 minutes. While the average length of a song on volumes 1 & 2 ranged from 2-3 minutes, the majority of tracks on the third volume barely reach 2 minutes in length, and this does end up affecting the enjoyment of the music.

The type of music that Vol. 03 is comprised of is the same frantic drum patterns, hammering guitars, glitchy effects, and tranquil moments of atmospheric noise that has already been fully realized and expanded upon in full length Blue Stahli songs before on his non-instrumental-based self-titled sophomore LP. With Antisleep Vol. 3 arriving after its ideas reached a higher potential on Blue Stahli, the music that’s presented here feels limited, lacking, and incomplete. Sort of like samples of music that listener’s would expect to be in longer songs. Here the structure of the tracks are presented and the hook is briefly delivered for a few repetitious times, only to come to a close far too early, and right when you're just getting into the song.

These songs don’t exactly unfold in any way either, they typically reveal everything about themselves early on, and in this way feel more like unfinished demo ideas for music rather than fully thought-out compositions. None of this would be an issue if these instrumentals were composed more along the methods used in creating the build and progression found in score music, but the songs actually sound more as if they were meant to take a backseat to vocals that they don’t contain. This nature of the music causes the songs to come and go without leaving much of an imprint.

The sounds of Vol. 3 are hardly anything remarkable either. The generic fury of alternative metal riffage and hammering beats of electronic rock blitz don’t feel lasting or effective, nor do the soothing minute long tracks of resonating distorted ambience. Celldweller managed to keep the songs on his Soundtrack for the Voices in My Head series interesting because he displayed a vast plethora of electronic music subgenres such as trip hop, electro-house, and trance. Blue Stahli has variety here, and a considerable amount of energy blasting out of such short tracks, but his mainly industrial-centered diversity ultimately pales in comparison to Celldweller’s efforts in the same area.

Short, but not exactly sweet, Antisleep Vol. 3 ends up being run-of-the-mill 21st century industrial music that feels severely suppressed from reaching greater heights, and is a disappointing follow-up to the great potential shown on its predecessor because of it.



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user ratings (23)
Chart.
2.6
average

Comments:Add a Comment 
breakingthefragile
December 19th 2012


2962 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Nearly done with my top 50 best albums of 2012 list. Thought I'd take a break from writing all those blurbs and write another review of a new release to mix it up. This is a pretty slow week, this was the only release that caught my attention other than Burial's split and T.I.'s new album. Hope you all like it!

Acanthus
December 19th 2012


9545 Comments


I don't mind Celldweller's instrumental stuff, but the length here is a huge turnoff.

Digging: MO - No Mythologies To Follow

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
December 19th 2012


3492 Comments


Not too surprised about the low rating here, Blue Stahli has never really been my favorite producer. I like most of the artists FiXT represents (like BT, Midnight Conspiracy, Synchronice) but he's not one of them. Have a pos in the meantime, if you'd like a more detailed criticism from yours truly just say the word.

breakingthefragile
December 19th 2012


2962 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Sure, lay it on me Bro lol.

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
December 19th 2012


3492 Comments


All right, here goes then.

While Celldweller has released two volumes in his Soundtrack for the Voices in My Head series, which is a running side-chain of instrumental electronic music albums - separate from his main studio albums - that he states to have created with the intention of licensing its songs to score TV shows, movies, and video games, Blue Stahli’s debut album was the first volume in Autrey’s own continuing series of instrumental-based electronic albums dubbed, Antisleep.

Total run-on sentence, could be split up into two or three individual sentences.

I feel like you could combine the first two paragraphs, since you never really conclude the first and you never really open the second adequately. It feels like you wrote one paragraph and then hit the "Enter" key halfway through it.

Vol. 03 is barely just a couple of minutes over half the length of the preceding two installments runtimes of 42 minutes.

1. "Barely just a couple of minutes over half the length" is really confusing, could use some clarifying. Maybe something like "just over half the length?"
2. "Installments" should be "installments'." Need the apostrophe there haha

The type of music that Vol. 03 is comprised of is the same frantic drum patterns, hammering guitars, glitchy effects, and tranquil moments of atmospheric noise that has already been fully realized and expanded upon in full length Blue Stahli songs before on his non-instrumental-based self-titled sophomore LP.

1. Slight run-on, the fact that you have around 25-30 words with no punctuation is a problem in my mind. Could use a second look.
2. You don't really need the "The type of music that" in the first part of this quote, "Vol. 03 is comprised of the same..." works just as well.
3. If you're going to keep it the way it is (which I'd discourage), "has" should probably be "had." Also, "non-instrumental-based" makes no sense whatsoever.

These songs don’t exactly unfold in any way either, they typically reveal everything about themselves early on, and in this way feel more like unfinished demo ideas for music rather than fully thought-out compositions.

You could probably split the second comma into two sentences. Also, maybe "...any way either, instead typically revealing everything..." would be better.

Overall you do a good analysis of exactly why the music isn't as good as it could be, and it's a very good review overall. Could use some shorter sentences and some longer paragraphs though. Keep the pos, as I can't really give you another one haha

bloc
December 19th 2012


35010 Comments


Aww, this is just instrumental? I'll skip this then.

Digging: The Birthday Massacre - Superstition

Killerhit
December 19th 2012


5254 Comments


Awesome criticism, but come on dude

youve done 50+ reviews

by 3 reviews you should be a fuckin master

breakingthefragile
December 19th 2012


2962 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

@Killerhit 50 reviews in only a year's worth of first-hand experience. I've improved by A LOT since my first reviews, but I'm still getting there. Besides, I have a handle over this. It's just that run-on sentences have always been an issue for me only because I have a lot to say. And everyone has their grammar screw ups time and time again. I've actually learned a lot about proper grammar in this past year of writing these reviews and my skills have really risen. I'm not really a pro just yet, but I'll get there some day.

YoYoMancuso
December 19th 2012


11189 Comments


nice review Alex, pos'd

Acanthus
December 19th 2012


9545 Comments


Ironically one of my friends is signed to the same label as this guy, small world.

breakingthefragile
December 19th 2012


2962 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Are they now? Very interesting, what moniker do they release music under?

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
December 22nd 2012


8387 Comments


Good review, man. I just brought out a plethora of quick fixes but then Sputnik decided I wasn't logged. I have a game to catch atm but I can re-type the critique later on. The content here is good, so I'll pos. Not too surprised that this isn't too good, since Vol.2 only came out like half a year ago or something and I agree that the length here (both songs' and album's) is a bit ridiculous.

trilogique21
December 29th 2012


427 Comments


heard one song and it had wubs. turned it off immediately. dunno if the rest of the album has a lot of
that, but it didn't sound like the blue stahli that i know and love.

spittis
December 29th 2012


6 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

It's a damn shame this album has so many of these useless short filler tracks, I enjoy the ones like Suit Up and Destroyer Of All Things, but I honestly regret paying full price for it, like you said it's way too short. Good review.

Phragmine
February 2nd 2013


39 Comments


Antisleep has always been nothing special to me. His self-titled is still one of my favorite albums of all time, though.

OriginalPhil
February 20th 2013


1 Comments


While I agree that the content of this album is pretty short to retail as an LP, it seems a little unfair to judge this solely as a product for consumer consumption. Blue Stahli/Bret keeps food on his table by composing short tracks for TV spots, trailers, soundtracks, etc. That's primarily what shaped the sound of this "album."

Otherwise, he would have to "sell out" and have the holier-than-thou music purists writing articles about how much he's defecated on the sacred acoustic art form known as music.

Acanthus
February 20th 2013


9545 Comments


The Fix It label isn't known for signing musicians with mass appeal; a lot of them do indeed do film/soundtrack work from time to time.



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