Sleep D – ‘Velvet Vortex’ (Butter Sessions)

As we eagerly teeter on the cusp of rave season here in Blighty, chomping at the bit to reboot our traditional summer smattering of lukewarm festivals and soggy terrace parties, the leaves are actually falling in the southern regions of Australia, as autumn drapes its cloak Down Under. Embracing the pre-winter spirit, Melbourne-based label Butter Sessions – a modest outfit founded by Sleep D just a couple of years ago, has released its latest offering by way of ‘Velvet Vortex’, a ripe and ready EP featuring three tracks, including a collaboration between the mercurial DJ Fett Burger and Vancouver’s Jayda G.

If you’re privy to the regular sounds of Fett Burger’s label Sex Tags Mania or his Trushmix series, then you may detect some correlation here. Both labels tend to lean towards an idiosyncratic, evasive and abstract sound. Strictly vinyl, you could even go as far as to say they are the very essence of ‘anti-digital’ in terms of their habitual and traditional production mantras.

Track ‘A’, Fett Burger and Jayda G’s ‘Steel D Flanger Mix’, is a swirling, xylophonic record that cuts melancholy with plenty of zest. It’s got a foamy, unhinged melody perfect for those giddy hours on the dance floor but with just enough fizz for cranking things up if necessary. In a nutshell, it encapsulates the aforementioned definition of Fett Burger-esque abstractness, which tends to make these kinds of records rather tricky to diagnose but altogether more interesting. Having been glued to Jayda G’s juicy Trushmix instalment from earlier this year, which features a bounty of irresistible Disco jams and plenty of Funk, we confess to having expected something a little more ‘bouncy’ per say, although we thoroughly enjoy this track’s enigmatic beat.

Tracks two and three are when the Sleep D boys come into their own. ‘AA’ is the metaphorical meat between this EP’s two buns, upping the ante with a harder, more strident sound for that sweaty, peak-time slot when you’re nestled into a cosy corner of the basement club; it’s tempestuous, deep and dark: A track that would grab any bubbling dance floor by the scruff of the neck, giving it a good shake.

By comparison, ‘AA 2’ slows things right down, almost to a stop. It’s a gloopy record that feels like it could have been devised within a 2 Step template. In a peculiar way, it reminds us a bit of a track by Martyn called ‘Broken’, a comparison we never saw ourselves making here. And that’s meant in a totally complimentary way of course.

For an authentic peek into Melbourne’s bristling underground culture, give this EP a go.

‘Velvet Vortex’ is out now on Butter Sessions. Buy it here.

Henry Cruickshank 

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