Slaapwel Records is a small record label strictly focused on music to fall asleep to. It was founded and run by Wim Maesschalck (Wixel) from 2007 to 2012 and featured such ambient & experimental music luminaries as Dag Rosenqvist (Jasper, TX), Greg Haines, Peter Broderick, Simon Scott, and Seaworthy. With Wim’s blessing, the label returns in 2015 with Stijn Hüwels as its new caretaker and a new entry in the catalog from Ghost and Tape:
“Since I loved the label from the beginning, I accepted with no hesitation and started my search for sleepy tunes. I heard Heine Christensen aka Ghost and Tape was very interested in making a Slaapwel-album. Heine and I got in touch, and so it began! It took some time, but here we are: very proud to present you …a perfect Slaapwel soundtrack, not only as the reawakening of the label, but also one that will guide you from awake to sleep. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it as much as I do” – Stijn Hüwels
Shift is a collection of seven somnambulent tracks meticulously crafted by Christensen using electric guitar, effect pedals, synthesizer, field recorder and found objects. The title of the album is a metaphorical reference to a time of transition that the artist was experiencing while these recordings were being made.
When things are constantly shifting from one state to another.
People coming and going. Moving from home to far away to a far away home. Leaving one path to find another. This album was created for Slaapwel in the void and the noise during a time of shift and change. Like that strange place between sleeping and being awake, where reality is replaced by dreams. – Heine Christensen
By contrast with the lullaby-like modern classical take on sleep music of Max Richter’s recent project, Shift , like most of the other entries in the Slaapwel catalog, takes an abstract, minimalist approach that eases the mind into restful stasis – a lush thicket teeming with warm tape hiss, crackling amps, soothing chimes, and fluidic sounds riding on an a stream of ebbing drones. All these elements are skillfully woven together with tremendous attention to detail and a sense of balance & harmony that is never disrupted. By the end of the album, if the listener is not asleep then they should be in a state of calm detachment at the very least. Christensen is the Sandman and Shift is his dust.
Shift is available as a digital download or in a limited edition CD packages with a stitched cover photo by Brian Young whose pictures are also on the insert sheets.
Listen to ‘Home’
More on Slaapwel
Here is a sampler of some of the fine releases on Slaapwel from 2010 to 2012. I look forward to digging into their back catalog and recommend spending some time on the site if you enjoy any of the music featured in this post.
Sleep Paths by Seaworthy (2012)
For Ingar Gustavsson (2012) by Johan G Winther– mastered by Nils Frahm
Silenne (2010) by Simon Scott