Somnambulists – From the Field to the Factory

7.25.19 by Ryan Masteller

A somnambulist is one who sleepwalks, and I used to be a pretty good sleepwalker back in the day. My mom told me one time in junior high or thereabouts that I had stood on my bed and stared banging my fists on the wall, yelling, “Mom! Let me out of the garage!,” etc. I remembered none of it. I’d like to think this story ended with my mom and me laughing about it, but I can’t be sure. She may have been scowling at me, or looking at me in a sidelong way, like I was a burgeoning supervillain or something.

Warren Ng is multiple Somnambulists, and the passages that he creates on his guitar are drenched with reverb and delay. Being far more interested in the tonal qualities he can extricate from his instrument, Ng embarks on lengthy excursions along the fretboards, letting the results of his experiments guide him. If “From the Field to the Factory” was going to soundtrack something, it would soundtrack a vigorous sleepwalking jaunt, such is the trancelike quality of its drawn-out tracks.

And of course you can’t get heady with your languid post-blues riffs without punching up the content with a little social commentary. See the title track, for example, for a reverie on the worker. “The Streets Were Paved with the Blood of Saints” conjures some vicious anti-religion protest. “Poem of Struggle” sounds like it’s from the pen of a tragic Dostoevsky hero. And if “We Are Children of the Ahistorical,” what then have we inherited? Nothing but the dead flag blues, if you ask me.

Even if you do it unconsciously, head on over to Zum Audio and grab a copy of this one. Edition of 100.