I Am A Man With A St Tropez Tan - Just A Ghost

10 songs
29:23 minutes
Hangman Ho


Yesterday I wrote a review of Music For Voyeurs’ second CD The Long Sleep. Today I ventured into the sonic nightmares of I Am A Man With A St Tropez Tan, another project by Rick Senley. While Music For Voyeurs is a mellow treatise of electro-acoustic ambient music, I Am A Man With A St Tropez Tan is just as dark, but far less sentimental and also quite more abrasive.

Reading Senley’s biography on his website, it seems that he has lived so far a truly interesting life. He is what one would call a worldly man, who has lived through quite a lot of adventures, good ones and bad ones. He once made it on the shortlist of becoming Britain’s best photographer of the year, has already published a novel and also several articles in renowned newspapers.

His music has a very intimate feeling, and in the case of Just A Ghost, the second album by I Am A Man With A St Tropez Tan, it is actually hard to talk about music in the generally accepted sense of what one expects from songs. Despite quoting The Chemical Brothers, Prodigy, The Cure and Depeche Mode on his website, we are far away from what these artists usually come up with. The ten tacks make it to half an hour of weirdness distilled through the wicked mind of Rick Senley, and after repeated listening, I still can’t make up my mind about what I have listened to. While there are fragments of real instruments like guitar and bass to be made out occasionally, the pieces are all enveloped into a strange concoction of gloomy electronica, out-of-tune acoustic instruments (bagpipes, violin) and miscellaneous sound samples. I am certain that this material unfolds its power best when listened to on headphones.

I will leave this review without any rating, because regular grades don’t really apply in this case. This is more a movie for the mind than an album of pop songs, and you have to have a taste for the bizarre to appreciate these sonic constructions. Given time, you will possibly find your bearings within these intricate convolutions, yet I don’t know if it weren’t better to prefer some distance. I Am A Man With A St Tropez Tan’s creative output is diagonally opposed to its name. Listen for yourself, if you dare!

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