Different Sleep Last Nerve
Published Mar 16, 2016This fine-tuned new EP from Los Angeles-based producer and musician Rafa Alvarez — under the name Different Sleep — is packed with variations of genres spanning from R&B and juke to garage and ambient. The five tracks of Last Nerve — the followup to his 2014 EP Conflict — can be described as meditative, using a method of controlled chaos to entrance.
Starting off with the relaxed but percussion-heavy "Night Depository," Different Sleep plays with a near-industrial array of background sounds that suggest the producer is not afraid to use any sound that inspires him. Singer Angelina Lucero lends her vocals to "Lost Profit," and her style proves a pleasant contradiction to Different Sleep's digital videogame-esque sound effects, as the breaking apart and layering of her singing gives Lucero's voice a percussive life of its own. Vocalist Jarell Perry takes on "No Time," but the odd repetitive background vocal "Hiya!" sounds are distracting and — unlike the background sounds on "Lost Profit" — do not provide a pleasing counterpoint to Perry's singing and the pretty piano accompaniment.
However, Different Sleep regains his momentum on Last Nerve with "Movement," a hard-hitting electronic success with melodic overtones and dramatic breaks sprinkled with nature sounds, buildups and abrupt endings. Finally, closer "Down" is a study in repetition, bringing listeners back to the controlled electronic chaos that worked well at the beginning of the EP. (Friends of Friends)