Laenz & T5umuT5umu: Unsleep

Catalogue: EM003
Label: Eastern Margins
Release Date: 
6 November 2020
Format: EP / Digital

Artwork & Visuals: Tabitha Swanson
Editing: Anthony Ko

An iridescent hope; an imagined reality. ‘Unsleep’ is the debut collaboration between NYC’s Laenz & Tokyo luminary T5UMUT5UMU. As Laenz’s falsetto vocals dance in the reflections of crystalline club textures, the EP presents an experimental dreamscape melted from 2020’s charred blossom.

Unsleep’s 5 tracks are an antidote. Concocted by Laenz and T5UMUT5UMU as part reaction, part counter-narrative to the frayed edges of our bleak reality, the EP offers a simulacrum of our world. Atop lucid instrumentation rendered in 4K, Laenz’s voice is the anchor and compass, alternating between vulnerably melodic half-phrases and a transient texture processed to the point of collapse. With artwork by interdisciplinary technologist Tabitha Swanson, the EP hints at the dissolution of the boundary between dreams and existence - a future shaped with the contours of perceptual experience.  

T5UMUT5UMU has already left an indelible imprint on Asia’s club landscape. With releases on Function Lab, Soul Feeder, TYO GQOM & Natural Sciences to name a few, T5UMUT5UMU’s productions are hydraulic fragments pulled straight from the mainline of contemporary club culture. Across the Atlantic, NYC native Laenz has been exploring the contours of the human voice through her own multisensory experimentations. Together, Unsleep sees both push forward into abstract territory.

Blue Moon’ opens the EP with a hopeful hymn, as vocal chants converge like cardinals in a radiance of bright melodies, before ‘fantasma pulls deeper into an altered consciousness: as concrete club rhythms bounce in the VR echo chamber. ‘Death Blossom’ absorbs us further, driving bodies running frantically through a primordial 8-bit dungeon of skittering percussion and seismic bass pulses. Moments of reprieve come with ‘Fever’s invitation to its altar of morphing textures, before the electronic clangour of ‘Ontogenesis’ awakens us into a re-imagined reality. And into another.