Shelley Parker
Sleeper Line EP
CD (E154)

Sleeper Line is a five-track EP constructed from
the original components of a live set performed in
December 2012. These components — manipulated
found sounds — were recorded at various times
and in various environments: Dungeness Power
Station (2012), street recordings post-Notting Hill
Carnival (2007), a live performance at the White
Building in London (2012), and a cassette recording
made in the cloakroom of the Metalheadz Sunday
Sessions club night (1997). The cyclical process of
merging analogue and digital media, elements of
dance music and varying locations and timescales
is at the core of the compositional and sonic
structures of the EP.

Shelley Parker is an artist based in London. Her
practice explores the experiential potential of sound
and image through the manipulation of technology
and the study of structure and material. Live audio
feeds, bass frequencies and found sounds are re-
curring themes within her performance, installation
and music production.

Live at Flussi Festival [Vimeo]
Live at Cafe Central, Brussels, August 2013

See also
Filter Feeder (E85)
Sebastian Elikowski-Winkler (E137)

Edition of 200 copies
Out of print

Shelley Parker, London, 2013
Photo by Charlotte Troy


Here’s an example of a disc whose music lies well outside
of my normal parameters but which I nonetheless find
absorbing and highly enjoyable. Parker creates five tracks
on this EP, each of which dwelling in a beat-laden atmo-
sphere, but one in which the pulses are very slow, some-
where less than 60bpm, sometimes much less, usually
imbued with both massive bass underpinnings and a sizzle
of irregular grime atop. The slowed tempo and the elements
chosen combine to form a luscious, lava-like flow, forming
an endless stream of surges that encrust, break, encrust,
break, iterating but accreting variances as they go. There
are doubtless more appropriate references but if you imagine
some of [Bill] Laswell’s dark ambient ’90s work and then
up the quality level three or fourfold, you'll be in the vicinity.
An odd combination of rich and desolate — I like it a lot,
can only imagine hearing it live, worrying about dislodging
embolisms... Great stuff.

Brian Olewnick at Just Outside

Shelley Parker’s Sleeper Line uses sound sources near
to hand, in this case location recordings made at various
places and dates, from Dungeness Power Station in
2012 to the cloakroom at London’s Metalheadz club in
1997. They’re woven among near subsonic booms that
billow like underwater depth charges. The connection
to Metalheadz in particular feels appropriate — the way
low-end interference triggers all the material within
Parker’s tracks to vibrate in unison beautifully mirrors
the sensation of being sat backstage in a peaktime
club, where kickdrums blasting through the walls cause
everything not nailed down to rattle in synchrony with
the music.

Rory Gibb in The Wire

Focusing on pulse-based musique concrète, and in-
formed by interests in dance music and noise, Sleeper
Line is an exploration of quiet industrialism, delivered
at a glacial pace.

Although the samples will have been honed with
great attention, Parker’s instrumentation is actually
quite simple; a myriad of feedback-like gestures and
textures, often joined by purer high- and sub-register
sine tones and fragments of the original recordings,
left unchanged as acousmatic objects. It’s a palette
that will be familiar to anyone with even a passing
interest in industrial or noise music, and that’s without
even mentioning the record’s underpinning leitmotif
samples as variations on a long-tailed 909 kick,
used in every track to mark the beginning of a bar
like a knell, be it harsh and in the fore, or submerged
and at a distance.

However, unlike many of her contemporaries, Parker’s
discipline is more comparable to that of a sound artist
than a musician. With a refreshing absence of drones
and freeform abstract parts, Sleeper Line’s five tracks
dwell solely on gradually stacking layers and taking them
away in simple but effective combinations — something
I could imagine a contemporary classical percussionist
working with sound doing. More...

Steve Shaw at Fact Magazine