Sunday, June 5, 2016


Michael Ferentino's BEDTIME FOR ROBOTS offers amazing, electronic musical journeys. I've reviewed BEDTIME earlier among my posts (see Music from an Undisclosed Location: Nov '15). A new, innovative sojourn has just arrived via the maestro, and it's an imaginative spree for both spirit and mind.

Entitled Big Sleep, Little Death, the experimental excursion is loaded with disquieting sounds and otherworldly melodies, but to say such only scrapes the surface of what this fantastic compilation can induce.

Per its title, the album conjures notions of ease and unease, of light and dark, of treks into lands forbidden, grand and uninhibited, just like the scenarios found in our most demented horror and science-fiction tales. As we generally learn from such fables, what we fear is often what delights us most: Death is not the end, for within its ensuing sleep, worlds of weird wonder await. In addition to that, Big Sleep has the strength to call upon (and expand) whatever predominates our thoughts (good and bad) at the time of listening. 

Upon my initial indulgence, I couldn't help but recollect my recent views of such unconventional classics as Ib Melchior's "Angry Red Planet" and Sidney Pink's "Journey to the Seventh Planet": stories that trigger the fear of death and/or doom, but also the ecstasy of alien danger. The ominously drippy "Inside the Outside" captures the latter most effectively, but in many ways so does the spacey "Easter" and the epic title track (rendered with support from Mangabros), which lures one into the creepiest of crawly terrains.

However, Big Sleep didn't just spark dark-fantasy/science-fiction contemplation in me. There were times when I found it marching head-on into terrestrial madness and of the most unconstrained sort. "Don't You Scream" (featuring Tenno Andra) could very well be culled from the subconscious corridors of Norman Bates or Michael Myers (especially when the Carpenter tonality sets in), with its guttural, electronic cries: a hammering descent into point-of-no-return contempt, though blessed by woeful acceptance upon its concluding chords. 

Other tracks, such as the snappy "Electric Liar", the croaking "National Lobotomy" and the guffawing "Rev Laz" (again with Mangabros) traveled farther into such morbid territory, with "All My Idols Are Dead" grazing upon the despair of Samuel Fuller's "Shock Corridor", while lamenting the unjust passing of heroes lost too soon. Additionally, I imagined a seasoning of Edgar Allan Poe and Clive Barker among these collective, driving strands, but then so inclined is my disposition as a horror fan. 

In all sincerity, you're likely to find the varying compositions imply something all together different, which is good. After all, it's up to you to decide what Big Sleep means and what strange, exotic places it sends you--but trust me, Ferentino's work will, indeed, transport you to such, matching and rivaling your most unsettling, deep-seated designs. 

There's no reason to hesitate. Your latest BEDTIME is stationed at Don't be afraid to open your mind and let the sounds hypnotize. Indeed, a little "death" never hurt anyone; for in the dark, infinite aftermath of reverie, the imagination has no boundaries. 

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