The frequency wobbles in pitch, its tonal turbulence degrading as it slithers through the tunnels of the mind, able to levitate above the sleepy sound. Angelic voices are quick to evaporate, along with the flutter of the flute. Their origin is unclear, and it forever will be. The strange, disembodied flute sounds like it once belonged to a vaguely familiar song, one that has been handed down the centuries from generation to generation. Now, though, it sounds like a chant.
The intermittent pitch rises and falls, glowing as it passes through. The white lines could have originally emerged on a graph of white paper, the thin needle scribbling out frenetic lines of sound as if it were reading the electrical activity of the brain. The sleeping patterns of select specimens grace the cover. Or, the lines may have just appeared, seemingly out of nothing like the music itself. While the art is condensed to its square borders, From Beyond dives through the vast canyons and the deep, unlimited valleys of the subconscious.
C.J. Parahi is co-founder and curator of New Zealand label Cooper Cult Records. As Sleeper, he conjures up a beautiful, ethereal portal of ambience, and he doesn’t waste any time when it comes to the art of drifting. From Beyond is saturated in a beautiful afterglow, thanks in part to the paper thin, processed loops. A white light, brilliant in its intensity, shines out of the music, as if it were an illumination of several guardian angels, surrounding your bed while you sleep, safely watching over you from a dimension that is both incredibly distant and incredibly close.
“Slumber / Timeless Time” is the beautiful sanctuary of sleep. You never want to wake up. The loops seem to lurk in the subconscious mind. The hazy turbulence is a subliminal message that the brain can’t quite fathom, instead choosing to chew it over in an act of endless repetition. The drone, ethereal in nature, spreads its shimmering wings, like circles and spheres that soon turn to dark, blossoming butterflies as the lids close their shutters for the day. Those angelic voices have departed, but their presence continues to echo through an open window, left temptingly between two unimaginable distances – the gulf that separates the open eyes from the sleep-injected state of mind. The ambient-drone is smeared by a dream. Out of body, out of mind.
The second side, “Edge of Darkness / Creeper”, is the rhythm of sleep; the undulation of the chest, the regular pattern (loop) breathing out exhaled trails of peaceful rest. This isn’t an ordinary loop, because the interludes vary in length, making it very much alive in its slumber. Only when the fifteen minutes evaporate does the ambience disappear.
Parahi’s music is a reassuring departure, drone that is destined for new-found land. Sleeper is able to find a new slant on what could be a fatiguing genre. From Beyond is intelligent, thinking sedately as it rocks in the cradle of sleep. The ambient swells lose themselves in a labyrinth of endless delay like lag on a telephone line. It’s an authentic exploration that dives deeper than most musicians dare to go. Sleeper has left us inside a dream – from above and from beyond – one that stretches out for eternity. (James Catchpole)