Sleeper is one of a number of UK producers falling into the newer category of what constitutes deep dubstep. Artist Distance started up Chestplate Records, which has a stable of artists within the UK dubstep hierarchy like Sleeper, Biome and Kryptic Minds, all of whom work to strip back dubstep to its deepest and darkest of components.
This newer style of deep dubstep – as shown in the Systema EP – contains an air of deeper intensity. First track ‘Systema’ is built like a sleek space-cruiser, unrelenting tribal percussion slams along with an envious bassline, and is punctuated by tendrils of mid-range bass licking through to create flawless and minimal dubstep that comprises of hardly any melodic structure needed at all. It’s all about the rhythm and bass here.
‘Species’ starts with a desolate synth melody before kicking into a solid stock-standard 2-4, lightly complemented with congo smatterings with Sleeper’s signature mid-range bass whips. That’s all that’s needed. ‘Total Destroy System’ is arguably the stand-out track on this EP, a tech-influenced tribal slayer. Its shuffling bulldozer of percussion and bass is remorseless, again with little else needed.
‘On The Inside’ slips a bit by trying to use a 4-4 beat standard within its formula. While it works to a degree, it is the weak link of the EP in that the 4-4 comes off sounding like psytrance, which is not something a lot of producers wish to do. It still works in terms of the whole, though.
All in all, Sleeper’s Systema EP is really well done in representing deep and atmospheric music that is still electrifying, but needs hardly anything to create this moody and tense spell. Dubstep isn’t dead yet.