O’Rourke continues to release music at a dizzying pace. His Steamroom series is now sitting at Volume 42. He is definitely one of my all-time favourite musicians but in all honesty, I’ve found it overwhelming to keep up in some ways. His discography is a spiders web of collaborations, instrumentations and approaches. I regard his releases these days as glimpsing into his ongoing process, sketches, new ideas, revisions and things worked up into more concentrated things. An ongoing conversation rather than a series of statements.
All of which sounds perhaps a tiny bit critical of my hero but its not meant to be. I’m happy to bounce around in his universe now, and lighten up at being such a completist nerd.
Having opened that can of worms, Sleep Like It’s Winter does magically feel like a significant release – a deep recording to get lost in. The 17-minute first section feels like an unravelling or hugely ambient version of The Visitor, a nod to the distant mobile chatter of Cede (from my all time favourite Terminal Pharmacy) and the subtle orchestral and electronics swirling of Eureka. The forward dynamic of these recordings unpicked as the piece slowly fragments into stasis…
Out of a long pregnant silence, the second part fades in with a chorus of crows before feeling like the purgatory drift over Tokyo of the Gaspar Noé film Enter The Void. An unsettling transition that slowly climbs towards a warm column of light. The twinkling opening into a huge crystallised organ climax. The rest is as a hugely satisfying extended afterglow.
Electronic music for the mind and body to ready yourself for hibernation. Music illuminated by the threshold of sleep but definitely not music to ignore.
Sleep Like It’s Winter is available here