Published Oct 15, 20132013 has been quite an adventurous year for Austin's HOLODECK imprint. With an eclectic collection of stunning releases, including seminal output from synth-pop mavericks Troller and Montreal's experimental chanteuse Marie Davidson, along with a much-needed reissue of the self-titled Good Stuff House album, it seems like the label can do no wrong.
Enter Ruleth, the new album from Austin-via-Los Angeles synth wizard José Cota (a.k.a. SSLEEPERHOLD). Incorporating a wide range of stylistic nods to his instrument's recent past, Cota's solo debut both embraces these potentially cheesy tropes and completely demolishes them, in the process infusing his music with a completely unique personality. The cataclysmic clash of melodies on "Timeghosts II" is almost surreal, while the slow-motion "Dreamwaves" sequence jacks into a cyberpunk nightmare. The title track, which leads off the album, lets unmanned power tools loose in a dingy goth club. Weird and wonderful, Ruleth is both another winner for HOLODECK and a stunningly bizarre debut for SSLEEPERHOLD. (Holodeck)