Music For Voyeurs - The Long Sleep

12 songs
36:31 minutes
***** **
Hangman Ho


Hardly any musical project has had a more tragic beginning. His girlfriend had just passed ahead, and Rick Senley ended up in hospital, hooked on morphine and with the help of crutches learning to walk again. That’s when he decided to take up learning the piano and rediscovered his old guitar. I first self-titled album was released, to be followed by The Long Sleep.

Like the history preceding it, The Long Sleep is certainly not a happy affair. But that shouldn’t mean that it is a dreary way to spend your time. The twelve tracks are never really long, all running between one and five minutes. Without exception they conjure the haunting atmosphere of dreamy ambient soundscapes. By itself, this wouldn’t be anything special, but Senley takes care to alternate between the piano and the guitar to carry the mood of the song. And for someone who just learned to play the piano, it has to be said that he is actually very good at it. Just as he is a rather competent guitarist and bass player, who also doesn’t shy away from the zither, electronic programming and the decent use of effects. The latter may be used rather sparsely, but always to good effect. Spooky samples of late night gospel shows, croaking birds and crying baby add even more texture to the overall effort.

The Long Sleep may not reinvent ambient music, but its sincerity will leave you bewildered, never knowing to feel melancholic or soothed by these little miniatures. Although released on a small label without a homepage I was able to find (so I guess it’s the artist’s own recording company), the production is still very clear and transparent, abducting the listener into a very intimate universe of fragile emotions. Definitely worth a listen for fans of contemplative sounds.

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