By Michael Davin
Sleep is a fickle and slippery thing. It seems like such a waste a lot of the time but becomes painfully and obviously necessary when it goes missing. In times of stress or crisis, it is one of the first things to depart. Insomnia is both physically punishing and soul-crushing in its ability to break the best of intentions.
My worst bouts of insomnia always coincide with my lowest moods, which shouldn’t be any surprise. You end up consumed in your own mind; unmoored from reality and normality. My version of insomnia means perpetual distraction with cognitive work – what can I puzzle over, write, listen to which will relieve this tortured thinking? It is poisonous when the things that sustain and fulfil you become a crutch for your most desperate moments.
Talking about sleep is really to talk about its absence. It’s otherwise taken for granted. Only having had that experience of needing sleep so desperately have I started to sanctify it, to revel in the small triumph of rediscovering it every night. It’s in the little habits and loops which keep you grounded.
That’s what the tracks seem to have in common. They aren’t ambient drones, which can end up being horrifically tense. They certainly aren’t just soft and quiet and inoffensive. Some clunk and thunder, others gently roar. Instead, they lock into grooves and spin in familiar loops. No unexpected turns, no bumps in the road, just long, drawn out, repetitious patterns. Their contours stretch out, each, in its own way, a little glimpse of infinity. There’s a safety and comfort in the familiar, no matter how strange it may seem.