DJ Signify Sleep No More

Though certainly no rookie in the hip-hop production game, many will learn about this 1200 Hobo with Sleep No More, which is quite a stunner on Warp’s emerging sister label. Certainly not something you want to throw on when you want to cheer yourself up, DJ Signify likes using chilling horn samples and dirty drums at a slow pace to piece together a soundtrack to an imaginary horror flick. The results are usually always effective and are reminiscent of early DJ Shadow and DJ Vadim, especially for the first half of the record as Signify layers back alley sound effects such as creaks and tin cans to make your skin crawl as Sage Francis and Buck 65 take turns lending their fitting vocals. Sleep No More tends to follow a slow wave of hypnotic beats up until the midway mark and then branches off into a quicker tempo of electronic interludes in the form of a three-part instrumental series entitled "Peek’a Boo.” The record falls back into its creepy groove as piano tinkers, doors creak and chimes blow in the wind in "Cup of Regret” and a disturbing array of children’s play things in "Shatter and Splatter.” Sleep No More sounds like the kind of music that a child locked in the basement would make to escape insanity, which can be seen as both a good thing and a bad thing. This record really is quite grand and Buck 65 and Sage Francis sound extra raspy and razor sharp, but there’s a very dark theme that wraps its arms around you that you simply can’t escape from. Don’t be frightened though — there’s beauty to be found in this massacre. (Lex)