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Sound 075: The Sleeping Buddha Album Review

From a little known independent artist called The Sleeping Buddha comes an album rooted in underground electronica called Urbanisms 001. The album consists of 14 tracks and draws on influences from hip/hop, trap, and electronic music. Each track ranges from only about 2 – 3 minutes in length, however, the overall album is cohesive in sound. All tracks are written, recorded, and produced by The Sleeping Buddha, who draws inspiration from time spent in Beijing and a found sense of spirituality.

On first listen, each track plays like a series of short vignettes, a snapshot to a much bigger idea. The various influences on the album are subtle but still surprising enough to catch your attention. There are some truly interesting sounds throughout, and for me, IMG_1906The Sleeping Buddha is creating more ambient soundscapes than commercial music. Being partial to electronica, it’s in these moments where the album is truly at its best.

Some of the tracks that standout as favorites are “The Sun is a Miracle,” “Heaven Is A Process,” which has a real, deep R&B vibe and overall smooth sound, and “Block 012” that is both dark and ominous, just how I like a lot of my music. The album opens with the track “Welcome to Namek” which is mostly an instrumental loop layered on top of a drum beat. It is quite repetitive before fading out to the track’s end. On “Mongkok’s Garden,” The Sleeping Buddha has incorporated a vocal effect over the beat and the effect is quite interesting. You can’t really understand the lyrics being softly rapped over the track and you don’t need to either. The album closes out with “Lionel-Groulx,” another track rooted in ambient house but ends up being a fairly calm closing statement.

Ultimately, Urbanisms 001 is a slow burner. It’s captivating, interesting, and when I listenIMG_1905 to the beats created here I think about how it could be remixed, chopped, and made suitable for a dance floor. However, on some of the tracks, you could easily hear a rap over the instrumentation and in that case the album would head in an entirely different direction. Most of the album in its current state is down tempo with an enjoyable underground sound but are we truly getting a finished album? With some finesse, it could evolve into a fully realized hip/hop or rap album. On the flipside, with its electronica base, the album could easily transform into a solid deep house album should the artist want. Here at Underground, our vote’s for the latter.

Urbanisms 001 by The Sleeping Buddha is available to stream now or you can purchase the digital album on Bandcamp at the following link: https://thesleepingbuddha.bandcamp.com/album/urbanisms-001.

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