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TEAM SLEEP: A Hypnotic Dream From DEFTONES’ Chino Moreno

Emerging from the shadows of Sacramento, California, TEAM SLEEP wasn’t your typical band. Led by DEFTONES‘ enigmatic vocalist Chino Moreno, TEAM SLEEP existed as a creative outlet, a space to explore sonic landscapes beyond the alt-metal behemoth he fronted. Formed in the mid-90s, the project remained a casual venture for years, existing primarily as a platform for Moreno and his childhood friend Todd Wilkinson to experiment with musical ideas.

Their playground was a simple four-track recorder, where the seeds of TEAM SLEEP‘s sound were sown. This early period saw a focus on atmosphere and experimentation, a stark contrast to DEFTONES‘ powerful and often aggressive music. The project gained momentum with the addition of DJ Crookone, a longtime friend and collaborator, who brought a unique textural element to the mix.

In 2000, a turning point arrived with DEFTONES‘ critically acclaimed album “White Pony.” This genre-bending masterpiece showcased Moreno‘s expanding musical palette and yearning to explore new avenues. TEAM SLEEP, initially envisioned as a purely recreational project, started to take on a more serious role as an outlet for these artistic desires.

The band’s lineup solidified around this time, with Zach Hill (DEATH GRIPS, HELLA) joining on drums and Rick Verrett on bass. Hill, known for his unconventional and explosive drumming style, added another layer of intrigue to the band’s sound. With a complete roster, TEAM SLEEP finally embarked on recording their debut album in earnest.

The resulting self-titled album, released in 2005, was a genre-defying odyssey. Tracks like “Ever (Foreign Flag)” and “Blvd. Nights” showcased a mesmerizing blend of influences. Dream pop soundscapes intertwined with elements of trip hop, shoegaze, and post-rock, all underpinned by Moreno‘s signature ethereal vocals and a heavy dose of atmosphere.

Critics lauded the album’s originality and immersive soundscapes. Pitchfork praised it as “a woozy, hypnotic journey,” while Rolling Stone called it “a mesmerizing and often beautiful detour” from Moreno‘s work with DEFTONES. Despite the critical acclaim, TEAM SLEEP remained a niche project. Their music, while captivating, wasn’t readily categorized, making it difficult for mainstream audiences to latch onto.

Live performances were equally rare. The band preferred a low-key approach, focusing on crafting a unique visual and sonic experience for their fans. Their shows featured mesmerizing visuals and a focus on atmosphere, further solidifying the hypnotic nature of their music.

Following the release of their debut album, TEAM SLEEP‘s activity dwindled. Moreno‘s commitment to DEFTONES, combined with the band’s inherent preference for experimentation over commercial success, meant that a follow-up album never materialized. However, their influence on the alternative rock landscape remains undeniable.

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TEAM SLEEP Makes a Surprise Return with Vinyl Repress and Unreleased B-Sides

Nearly two decades after their critically acclaimed debut, TEAM SLEEP is back in the spotlight. Fans can rejoice as the band’s self-titled album gets a long-awaited vinyl repress, remastered and ready to blast those sonic dreamscapes once again.

But the good news doesn’t stop there! This repress comes with an extra kick: two previously unreleased B-sides. “Let’s Go” features Timony, while “Kool Aid” boasts the unmistakable vocals of Mike Patton (MR. BUNGLE, FAITH NO MORE). These exclusive tracks offer a tantalizing glimpse into the creative wellspring of TEAM SLEEP and are sure to excite longtime fans. You can check them out below.

Pre-orders for the vinyl repress, including these bonus B-sides, are now available! Don’t miss this chance to revisit (or discover for the first time) the mesmerizing sounds of this project.

TEAM SLEEP‘s legacy lies in their willingness to push boundaries and create music that defied easy categorization. They proved that even established artists like Moreno could carve out a space for artistic exploration, inspiring countless musicians to break free from genre constraints.

Despite its brief existence, TEAM SLEEP‘s hypnotic soundscapes and genre-bending tendencies continue to resonate with fans, leaving behind a unique chapter in the musical journey of Chino Moreno and a lasting testament to the power of creative experimentation.