DJ Signify, a New York native and former producer for the
avant-garde rap label Anticon, forges out on his own with a
distinctive instrumental album. Sleep No More from Lex
Records also brings along a few Anticon expatriates for the
There is nothing that serves as a preparation for the pure mood
of the album. A DJ Shadow comparison would be wrong, it’s a
far cry from the electronic glitch-hop of Prefuse 73, and
RJD2’s style is too soulful to be in the same family.
Sleep No More is a unique statement from a noteworthy voice
in experimental instrumentation.
With the minor key piano chords, pulsing tones, feedback and one
rubber ducky squeak, this is not the record played before the
party. Although the atmosphere is clear on its own, it is deepened
by some perfectly focused and chilling vocal contributions. Using
Nova Scotia native Buck 65 and incessant style flipper Sage
Francis, DJ Signify cements the claustrophobic mood of the record.
Buck and Sage spit some visually rich storytelling, which feels
like a transmission from a lost episode of “The Twilight
Zone” or “The Outer Limits.”
Sage and Buck never rhyme on the same track, so their
contributions have their own feel. On their tracks, the beat always
manages to interact precisely with the topic and flow.
Sleep No More is a focused and coherent record that aims
for the subconscious and hits often. This is the insomniac
manifesto that red-eyed somnambulists have been waiting for.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars