(turn your phone sideways for optimum viewing!) — So we’ve had spotlights so far on Stanislav Tolkachev (Ukranian) and SHXCXCHCXSH (Swedish) – now we move into German territory with Sleeparchive!
If you’re liking what you hear, come along on 1st October, as Sleeparchive will be performing a live set for our Meat Free MORD Records Showcase, alongside Bas Mooy, Stanislav Tolkachev, SHXCXCHCXSH (live), Tripeo, UVB, Zadig and the Meat Free DJs. We hope you packed a spare t-shirt, as it’s gonna be a sweaty one.
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- What’s in a name? Roger Semsroth, aka Sleeparchive, would have this to say on his nom de plume:
“The word sleep was taken from minimal nation by Robert Hood. The word sleep sounds nice and everybody can associate something with it. Archive is just another nice sounding word I think.”
2. Prior to Sleeparchive, which was a project kicked off in 2004, Roger’s earlier project was as Skanfrom and the now defunct electro synth-pop label ADSR on which he released. Here’s what he has to say from an interview back in 2008:
“Skanfrom is old stuff I did some years ago. The music isn’t interesting for people who like Sleeparchive. I stopped Skanfrom in 2002. I have still some tracks left I’m going to release someday. But at the moment I have more fun with Sleeparchive. I’m a bit bored of melodies, robots and singing birds :-)”
Here’s some to get a flavour – personally we quite like it!
3. If you’re wondering how Roger started getting into music, part of that you can probably attribute to his day-job : working at the infamous Hard Wax record shop. ‘How on earth did he start working there?’ we hear you ask – well!
“I grew up listening to EBM and WAVE. This music was fantastic in the 80’s but terrible in the 90’s. So in the mid 90’s I realized I had more fun listening to Aphex Twin or Autechre. That why I started looking for other music that sounds like them. Back in the days you could not go to youtube or spotify or whatever to check music. You had to go to record shops and ask I though Hard Wax might be the best place for asking. And I was right”
Just as an aside, it might be worth noting that there’s been a canon of major artists who’ve been on the staff list of Hard Wax at one time or another: Marcel Dettman, DJ Pete, Prosumer, Soundstream, Fiedel, Cassy, Vainer, T++ and Shed – heavy! Throw in that the founders of Hard Wax are Mark Ernestus and Moritz von Oswald (Basic Channel), this place sounds like a pretty fun place to work! I bet it was grim on the Monday morning shift tho…
4. Sleeparchive’s upbringing and relationship with music was an interesting one, to say the least. In an interview from 2009 he tells us:
What was the first album you ever bought?
“I can’t remember my first album. I grew up in the GDR so I was not able to buy most of the music I liked as a kid. When the wall fell in 1989 every East German citizen got 100 marks. From that money I bought “Front by Front by Front 242” and 3 “The Cure” albums. All 4 records are still in my record collection and I still love all 4 albums. It’s really strange if I think that I have had those albums for 20 years in November this year.”
5. Between 2004 – 2008 Sleeparchive self-released on his label alone. Here’s some of his standout tracks:
The very first EP – Elephant Island – ZZZ01! And a fun fact for you from XLR8R: “Regis and Function credit the first release from Sleeparchive (a.k.a. Roger Semsroth) as the inspiration around which Sandwell District formed. Released in 2004, Elephant Island has aged well, and its impact on Sandwell District’s 2010 album Feed-Forward is clear.” – high praise!
Looking for a bit more of a mind melter? Try this EP from 2007 – and if you think this is far out, have a listen to MRI Scanner.
And to the more melodic – this is from Hospital Tracks (2006):
6. Sleeparchive is pretty topical at the moment – not least because he recently shut down his label of 12 years – he broke the news with a single sentence on one fateful Monday morning in early July. Buy from your local record shops, people! Be it Bandcamp, Hard Wax, or any other ways in which you can support the artists you listen to.
He’s not afraid to laugh at himself tho –
And, for the record :
7. Sleeparchive developed a strong relationship with Tresor in 2013. His two EPs – A Man Dies in the Street pt 1 and 2 are absolute belters. Be warned! You can buy them here.
From an XLR8R review:
“This is his second offering from the A Man Dies in the Street series, EPs inspired by the Brassaï photographs of the same name, and it finds Semsroth so focused on pursuing the formal core of the Sleeparchive project that he doesn’t bother to invite listeners in. This is loop techno with no exit and minimal acknowledgement of anything outside of itself. Calling these tracks DJ tools sounds too social.”
8. Remix-wise Sleeparchive hasn’t been afraid to delve in there either. As Juno puts it:
“He just helped inaugurate Finitude Music, a label run by Tresor Resident DJ Marcel Heese, and over the years he’s remixed techno elite in Regis, Adam X (as Traversable Wormhole) and Orphx, the electroclash of Miss Kitten, Modeselektor funsters, seminal electronic dub pioneers Rhythm & Sound, to the glitchy electronics of Raster Noton founder Byetone and the über alien tones of Cio D’or.”
Time to give some a listen!
9. It wouldn’t be fair of us not to drop in some MORD. But let’s do it via Roger talking about how good a year 2015 was for him!
“2015 was a fantastic year for me. After working with the worst booking agency ever I started working with Pakt Booking which is fantastic! I am really happy with my releases on MORD and Warm Up. The 12″ I did for my own label included track ‘The maid in the kitchen‘ for which I got really good feedback. The best thing is definitely that I am a dad for 11 month now. You won’t believe it but my daughter is the cutest kid in the world.”
10. We’ve reached number 10 – time to end on a fun fact, haha.
Imagine that you’re a promoter with an unlimited budget, how would your line-up look like? 🙂
“I would like to book Joy Division, but no money in the world can bring Ian Curtis back!”
AND if you’re wanting to listen to a highly coveted and super rare live-set – one finally dropped – this’ll give you a good taste of what’s to come on 1st October!!
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Penned by Lucy Ironmonger of Meat Free.
1 : Featured image photo credit: https://www.residentadvisor.net/images/news/2016/sleeparchive-label-shut-down.jpg
1 : Photo credit : http://artstyletechno.hu/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/img_4113.jpg
1, 2 and 10 : http://www.clubpages.net/forum/index.php?showtopic=5663
3 : http://www.clubber.rs/interview-w-sleeparchive/
3 : http://cargocollective.com/mosaictheory/Hard-Wax-The-Insider-s-Guide-Interview-with-DJ-Pete-Part-I
4 : http://mnmlwisdomtooth.blogspot.co.uk/2009/03/interview-sleeparchive.html
10 : Photo credit : http://www.nme.com/features/ian-curtis-35-years-to-the-day-of-his-death-why-the-enigmatic-joy-division-frontman-remains-british