...And now for something much more recent! The first time I saw San Francisco-based Ssleeping Desiress, they opened up for Sixteens at a small bar in the Mission District about 3 years ago. I had listened to a couple of their songs on their myspace page prior to attending, and my interest was piqued. There were no other bands doing such a straight-ahead synth sound in San Francisco at the time.
The band took the stage - two guys I had never seen before in the often insular city - and with a couple synths, a drum machine, and a live snare drum they barreled through a 20-minute set of vintage-sounding darkwave. The duo would alternate between synths, vocal, and drum duties; the live drum fills added a bit of a visceral and organic dimension to the barrage of electronics. They sounded spot-on.
While the band has gone through a few lineup changes since that time, Ssleeping Desiress has essentially remained the brainchild of Gabriel Ramos, who is now the sole member. This CD (limited to a scant 25 copies) is the only physical legacy of their earlier lineups, released in 2010 when Ramos was joined by Mona Martinez on vocals and percussion. The male and female vocals with gritty electronics recalls bands like Ronin, early Xeno and Oaklander, and even Nine Circles.
For a demo CD, the release is quite strong. While several tracks indeed have a bit of a rough "demo" quality, most of the them, including Tunnel, Passage, This Age, and Sleepwave (which I shared on the first Commercial Music compilation) are excellent.
The band has a few songs on various compilations - most notably the second Circuit D'Actes compilation . They also will have the fourth release on the excellent Flexiwave label in the coming months. Most of the songs on this disc are no longer part of the band's repertoire, but Ramos was happy to let me share them. Ssleeping Desiress is certainly a gem in the electronic underground, and it's great to hear these early sketches that run along the boundaries between minimal synth, coldwave, and electro.
Ssleeping Desiress: Home Demos - July / Aug 2010 CD-r
2 Crown Of Flames
3 Bird's Eye View
7 This Age
8 Rose Hill