If there’s one thing tying the Altered States Tapes curation together, besides the Aussie label’s undeniably experimental edge, it’s a dedication to the austere. Musique concrète, violent maelstroms of techno and electro, dissonant ambience and challenging landscapes have been committed to tape over the eight years since its inception. Sometimes they’ve materialised as double-sided mixtapes to be listened in one go, others have come bearing productions capable of standing alone as individual tracks.
Both forbidding and exploratory, Sleep D keep true to those overarching themes, although this is somewhat uncharted territory for the Butter Sessions founders. Joining household names – Tel Aviv duo TV.OUT and Rory McPike‘s 2200 alias stand out in particular – and little-known producers alike on the label, Erased is a tape of music originally commissioned to be played live as the soundtrack to a series of screenings showing David Lynch’s directorial debut and surrealist masterpiece, Eraserhead. Presumably written for a dream-sequence where our protagonist witnesses his own decapitation, A4’s ‘Head Flip’ is an ominous, percolating rendering of IDM; a ball of nervous energy laced with the same sense of unease as the film itself, it feels perpetually on the edge of meltdown. An erratic rhythmic experiment as anxious as Lynch’s unsettling tale of fatherhood.