Orca Life is a drone project from Virginia; the email I received from the artist was the first I’d heard of it, but since I see that Orca Life has put out a few more releases on net labels and even a cassette. Sleep is a net release of about ten minutes, split into four tracks that encompass different parts of the titular song.
There’s a lot of reverb and bass synth tones in Orca Life’s drone, with echoing, dark synths that pulse in and out throughout each track. Each song is fairly similar to the first; the synth layers writhe against each other, with the background shudder of low synth tones carrying the tracks forward while horror-soundtrack notes dart in and out. The progression between each part is simple, rarely straying from that original drone of “Pt. 1”.
It does make me wonder why Orca Life decided to structure Sleep in such a way. This could have easily been a ten-minute song that continues to expand; as is, each part is difficult to separate from the whole, meaning that one track doesn’t really do much on its own. There are subtle changes, in pitch, tone, oscillation, or reverb effects; otherwise, though, the track cuts aren’t necessary.
Sleep is a simple drone excursion; there’s slight chord progression, there’s subtle change between tracks. And yet it’s still quite an enjoyable little release, a short ten minute jaunt through dark synth work that expands and shifts nicely, acting as the sandman’s dark helper.