Posted on May 30th, 2013 (8:00 am) by Joseph MacKenzie

In a Manner of Sleeping, Matthew Patterson Curry’s first album under the Safety Scissors moniker since 2005's Tainted Lunch, sounds like it was conceived in exactly such a manner. That does not mean the album is lazy or lethargic; it means the album is ambient, reflective, dreamlike. Some pop/rock fans may cringe at the mention of the “glitch” genre, a form of music typically characterized by repetitious malfunctioning electronic equipment, but those skeptics will change their minds after listening to In a Manner of Sleeping. The album soothes its way into our ears with the ambient opener "Moving Light," in which a radiant, windy intro is complimented by softly plucked bass notes – simulating the start of a restful night.

The peace does not last long, however. "Moving Light" soars into the '80s pop-inspired duet, “The Floor.” The song opens with electronics that move into an almost soft jazz electro-bass line. With lyrics like “You said you’d wake me up / we must fight / against the floor” and “Oh elevator / which way to take her / with all her buttons aglow,” it is clear that Curry has passed the threshold of sleep and entered dreamland. The next song, “You Will Find Me” – with wordplay like “An owl is wise / but who is wiser” and experimental, almost tribal electronic sounds – is proof that the dream is pure electro-pop bliss.

Until the nightmare hits, that is. Well, not quite a nightmare, more like a fever dream. “Somnambulance” comes in like the soundtrack to a Super Mario Brothers level on LSD, set to a hip-hop beat. An interesting change of pace, and clearly the REM-sleep phase of Curry’s excursion into nocturnal notes.

In a Manner of Sleeping contains four instrumental tracks, including the halfway marker “Lemon-Scented Moist Pillowette” and the closer “Second Story,” and while experimental and interesting, the album’s true power lies elsewhere.

The real wonder of this album (Safety Scissors's first for BPitch Control Records)is how Curry manages to keep his electro-glitch-pop hybrid rooted in traditional song structure. Throughout the album, especially in “The Floor” and “Progress and Perseverance,” we are treated to a downright jazzy interaction between the electronic bass and drum rhythm section – a welcome compliment to the sometimes overbearing glitch-style production. The songs with Curry’s calming vocals and stunning lyrics are the ones that shine.

Although the more pop-oriented songs stand out, tracks like “18 Hours” and “Lights Out” combine traditional song structure and great vocals with highly experimental music. “Lights Out” also signals the end stages of sleep. Curry can be seen coming to terms with why he has been having such a turbulent night all along in the line, “Turn off the lights / I can see in the dark / I know what you’re thinking / but I’m not that bright.”

In a Manner of Sleeping gives a pop treatment to electronic music...or an electronic treatment to pop music. Whichever way you want to think about it, it is a thought-provoking album both musically and lyrically.

Before the night comes to an end with the instrumental “Second Story,” we are treated to one last personal admission from our sleep-wary friend, “My best ideas are when I’m sleeping / they couldn’t wake me.” I think he is right.

Track List:
1. Moving Light
2. The Floor
3. You Will Find Me
4. Somnambulance
5. Gemini
6. Lemon Scented Moist Pillowette
7. Progress and Perseverance
8. 18 Hours
9. Lights Out
10. Stolen Song
11. My Best Ideas
12. Second Story

Safety Scissors - In a Manner of Sleeping
Purchase at: Amazon | eMusic

Our Rating

72 / 100
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