Documenta’s “The Blue Sleep”

Here’s another artist gleaned from my work-based listening excursions. They’re a Belfast outfit known as Documenta, and according to their Facebook bio, their interests reside in astronomy, melody, and noise. They’re also influenced by Spacemen 3, free jazz, and Deutsch-rock.

Given that preface, I offer the beautiful post-rock psychedelic purity of “The Blue Sleep.” This one’s primarily instrumental, with a few of those dreamy vocals layered atop for cozy comfort. It’s aimed to lure and lull, with sights set on serene states of lucid slumber. That’s more or less, how I felt when I stumbled upon it. I was working, then I was listening, and then I wasn’t working anymore, caught up in its aural machinations … at least, until it was over, and I had a moment to reflect.

“The Blue Sleep” is an entirely meditative affair, leaning more towards mesmerizing than flat out hypnotic. It holds scents of shoegaze and dashes of dream-pop. There’s a wobbly sax that bounces around in echoes, a violin that saddens the tone to a melancholy, and those aforementioned ethereal vocals that bliss things back to euphoria. A whole spectrum of sensations tends to float around in this whispery whirligig of heightened harmonics.

I honestly can’t tell you a whole lot about Documenta. I’ve been skipping around their catalogue as I’ve been writing this. They’ve got a couple albums, 2015’s “Drone Pop #1” and 2012’s “Drone Pop #2,” both of which more than adequately live up to their titles (and yes, they did start with “#2” first). The aforementioned Spacemen 3 psychedelic influence reverberates throughout these earlier efforts, playing more like guitar-crafted mantras of transcendental hypnosis, refracting in repetitive loops of infinite feedback. And I’m beginning to love it.

“The Blue Sleep” comes from the 2018 EP “The Lady with the Ring,” marking an arguably big leap forward in spatial production and sonic evolution. This seems to be characteristic of Documenta’s later work. It’s deep, deep psychedelia, slightly less drone, decidedly more atmospheric, and consequently more immersive. It’s a logical next step for their mind-altering melodies.

Check out Documenta’s “The Blue Sleep” and see if it slips a little slumber into your waking moments. And on that thought, I’m going to wrap up the month of January. Enjoy!

“The Blue Sleep” from the 2018 EP “Lady with the Ring.”