PinkMilk Reviews - Slumberjack's 'Sarawak' EP

The Perth reps are back at it again

Will Marsh


erth’s very own homegrown heroes, Slumberjack has become a name instantly recognisable by many, having comfortably solidified themselves as one of the most creative and adaptive duos in the scene.

In the space of five years they’ve gone from opening festival tents at 2pm in the afternoon to selling out headline shows all over the country, and have even had the opportunity to tour the US alongside some of the biggest names in the trap scene.

Their new ‘Sarawak’ EP, based on their time spent in Morgan’s homeland of Sarawak, Borneo, takes a much calmer approach to sound design compared to their previous releases, utilising newer natural soundscapes to provide an altogether more exotic sound.

While the EP signals a decided change in musical influence on the duos sound with differing styles of production and new inspirations, much of the sound design is still imprinted with that easily distinguishable ‘Slumberjack’ feel, and the duo doesn’t stay too far from their earlier roots.

Find out what we thought about their new release down below.

The Tracks

It’s hard to sum up the overall feeling of five different tracks, but it’s clear that this EP has a much lighter feel to it than people would typically expect.

Previous releases, particularly their ‘Fracture’ EP, have been defined by a heavier emphasis on bass and fast-paced drops, whereas ‘Sarawak’ feels much slower, utilising fewer sounds and more experimental breaks and beats in each song.

There’s far less focus on bass, and more attention is paid to spacing out each unique beat, making the tracks noticeably slower with much less ‘oomph’ than people would have expected.

Their use of angsty vocals has remained a consistent feature, and they fit in well with the sound design of each track, particularly ‘Daggers’ ft. Machine Age.

Hide and Seek’ with Claire Ridgely sadly doesn’t stand out as anything more than a stock-standard track, with disappointingly generic lyrics reminiscent of almost every Illenium song.

If this song stands as the EP’s attempt to craft a commercially ready track, it fails to significantly differentiate itself enough to be memorable.

Athena’ is the only track on the EP curated solely by Slumberjack, and it definitely has that recognisable feel to it.

The buildup has all their typical characteristics, but the drop is far less technical than many would expect, utilising only a select few sounds along with standard beat breaks between them, resulting in a fairly simple conclusion.

Solid’ has an attractive build up but lends itself to a drop that is far too overwhelming. It seems like they threw random sounds and beats all over the place, and the result is very disjointed. The drops are overcrowded and struggles to maintain a flow with constant interruptions from unnecessary beats. Even with the utilisation of Troyboi’s signature stretchy beats the finished product is sadly underwhelming.

Setting itself apart from the rest of the EP, fruity basslines and a cleaner finished product marks ‘Closure’ as the standout track of ‘Sarawak’. Ekali can rarely do wrong and his influence on the track is clearly highlighted through a smooth sound design that results in simplistic yet uplifting beats, delivering a song that fits perfectly with the theme Slumberjack promised.

Credit - Slumberjack (via IG)

‘Sarawak’ might be described as being much of the same, but while it lacks in the stompers people were expecting, it does well to reflect Slumberjack's talent as producers.

Despite failing to impress significantly the EP is nonetheless worth the journey, and I don’t think you’ll find yourself disappointed with the 20 minutes it takes to get through it.

Let us know what you think of their new release, and as always, we hope you enjoyed the read.