Slumberjack – Sarawak EP

Slumberjack – Sarawak EP

Australian duo Slumberjack—real names Morgan Then and Fletcher Ehlers—released their brand-new EP ‘Sarawak’ this morning. Then is a classically trained pianist and former world-music artist. Fletcher, at age eleven, taught himself to make electronic music. Since 2014, they have steadily reinvented their sounds and pushed the boundaries of electronic music.

Finding Their Sound

With previous tracks like ‘Enigma’ and a banging remix of Alison Wonderland’s ‘Sometimes Love’, they’ve made a name for themselves in the EDM world. Sarawak captures the duo’s real identity. They’re proving that they are the real deal.

What’s different about this EP, compared to their self-titled EP released in 2014, is their use of ambient and foley sounds from their trip to Sarawak, Malaysia. On their website, they display various photos and videos behind the making of this EP in a series titled “Sights of Sarawak.” There are pictures of snakeheads and videos of Then and Fletcher drinking ‘tuak’, a local moonshine Sarawak. They explore the Fairy Cave, which sounds like something out of a fantasy novel – but look below and tell us that’s not beautiful.

Slumberjack in Fairy Cave
“There’s something special about the way sound behaves in really large places and Sarawak’s Fairy Cave definitely fits that bill. We spent a lot of time here recording the impulse of the cave reverberations, which is kind of like the acoustic DNA of the space. The idea is that we can take that back to the studio and make it sound like any instrument was recorded in that space.”

The Music

In ‘Daggers’, one of the featured singles from their EP, you can hear the sample of an ancient musical instrument indigenous to tribes in Sarawak called a Sape. ‘Athena‘ is a track from the Slumberjack we know and love, although more refined because it ends on a calming piano loop. Other tracks feature artists such as Machine Age and Troyboi, as well as captivating vocals from Clarie Ridgely.

The final song ‘Closure’ – co-produced with Ekali – is one of our favorites. It showcases complex changes, like soft piano notes which effortlessly blend into bass drops. Sarawak grounds you in the present, makes you think more about your surroundings. It shows just how much Slumberjack have grown as artists.

Listen below!

Slumberjack – Sarawak EP