Blue Stahli: Antisleep Vol. 4 Review

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Blue Stahli: Antisleep Vol. 4 Review

River Atkinson, Staff Writer

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On Friday, August 25th, Bret, the solo member of the Detroit-based multi-genre band Blue Stahli, released the album Antisleep Vol. 4 through the electronic music label FiXT Music.

Antisleep is a musical series by Blue Stahli, and consists of glitchy instrumental electronic rock music that was initially created for commercial TV/Movie/Game use. 

Antisleep Vol. 4 has something for everyone. The album includes 12 full tracks, with everything from electronic metal to headbang to, like in ‘Headshot’ and ‘Reload’, haunting dance tracks combining exotic horns and synthy beats, found in ‘Futureproof’ and ‘Lightspeed Combat’.  There are classic spy action soundtracks, in ‘Secret Agent Business’ and ‘Car Chase Club Action’, and dance/pop music, found in tracks ‘Sunset Neon’ and the surprisingly awesome pop/dance tune that is ‘Red Carpet Rush’.

The album tracks aren’t exclusively action and pop songs. ‘Dirty Down’, ‘Stangblack’, and ‘Three Piece Suit’ act as quick, mellow interludes, providing some swanky musical relief.  ‘Rumbleshaker’ combines the best of both worlds, staying classy while also containing action beats and outstandingly rad guitar riffs.

Although the tracklist may look like a jumble of genres thrown together, Bret’s use of recurring instrumentation and sampling masterfully binds together the songs in Antisleep 4. One clear example of this is through the artistically repetitive use of vocal samples, which tie together songs like “Sunset Neon”, “Red Carpet Rush”, and “Futureproof”. The Vocal Samples are all clearly from the same source and made by the same person. This makes each song fit together perfectly. Every track is recognizable as being a Blue Stahli track, and made in the unique Stahli  style.

The album gives listeners continual entertainment throughout the 30 minute run-time. It cannot be labeled as “Metal”, or “Pop”, or “Dance”, due to its multi-genre freshness. “Electronic” is the best descriptor of the music, but doesn’t fully cover the vault of genres unlocked in this record.

Bret becomes a master at any style he sets his sights on. Each song perfectly captures specific and varied musical genres. While his specialty is electronic metal, Bret’s pop song “Red Carpet Rush” would influence any high school girl (and a lot of the boys) to chug down their Starbucks and start dancing. In addition, the track “Secret Agent Business” gives a strong desire to put on formal-wear and sunglasses while trying to use giant suction cups to climb a skyscraper.

This album occasionally turns into a soundtrack for a cheesy, brilliant action movie from the 70s. “Reload” wouldn’t be out of place in an action shootout scene, and “Car Chase Club Action” does indeed sound like a track playing in a car chase.

Some of these songs sound eerily familiar, however. While songs like “Red Carpet Rush” and “Secret Agent Business” are purposefully clichéd in a nostalgic and artful fashion, they don’t bring anything new to the table, as songs like “Futureproof” and “Sunset Neon” do. But even with this familiarity, there is no denying that these are killer songs.

Taking everything into account, the skill with which Bret puts the songs together, the variety of genres he uses, the familiarity of some songs, and the innovations of others, this album receives an 8/10 rating.


Special thanks to FiXT Music, Position Music, And Bret himself, as he is Blue Stahli.


Buy the album here:

Blue Stahli