I once saw a picture of Danish post-rock group Sleep Party People (or Brian Batz and his “bunnies”) and was extremely confused at their visual aesthetic; certain feelings were tugging me in all directions, and I didn’t really know what to think of it. Floating
, third album by the musician Batz under this alias, intensified my confusion. Not only are certain song’s titles made to seem intellectual or mysterious (such as “Stranger Among Us”, “In Another World” or “Only a Shadow”), but the music accelerates beyond the confines of genre. Every song is layered with ambient influences, shoegaze ethics, synthesizer-heavy post-rock, dream pop, electronica and soundscape, almost witch house qualities and vocal harmonies that create an immersive listen, similar to something like NEU!
or other primitively electronic albums.
’s progression sees very strange motifs musically. It’s victorious, but not in the way you’d expect -- it isn’t defeating anything, nor does it escape loss. Rather, it’s victorious in a submissive way (the spoken word sample on exhibits these traits well “Floating Blood of Mine”: “Yes, he’s dead. All his life, what Gregory’s been trying to find out is what happens when you die. And now, he’s about to find out…” is not usually what a father will say when confronted with his son’s sudden death). Sometimes, creepy vocal performances are similar to that of Lucid Rivers and the like. Other lyrics are smudged by reverb, a highly disappointing effect the album has, making Floating
a bit more shallow than desirable.
Funky “I See the Moon” fails at capturing an effective krautrock aesthetic due to its lack of improvisation, while its titular twin, “I See the Sun, Harold”, delivers a highly immersive ambience, experimenting with drone and noise traits (more songs like this would do the album good). “Scattered Glass”, the most accessible track on the album, sees to a much more boring side of Sleep Party People that exposes Batz’s inconsistent musicality, the most predominant hindrance of his brilliance. Songs like “A Stranger Among Us” feature well-done climaxes and synthesizer solos which become almost danceable. “Change In Time” and “Death is the Future”, the hardest songs to like on the first listen, feature complicated percussion lines that, once enjoyed, become almost perfect in their performance. Holistically, Sleep Party People pumps the tag of “ADD music” to its maximum capacity.
Inconsistent and at times very boring, Floating
fails to be any more than a pseudo-intellectual collection of post-rock tracks with influences plucked from random aspects of experimental music. Perfect instrumental performance says that Brian Batz could have made a decent electronica album. Take your mask off.