Easy comparisons to The Durutti Column and July Skies notwithstanding, Rick Senley’s previous outing under the moniker of Music For Voyeurs was a delightful set of poignant songs and instrumentals inspired by a tragic time in the artist’s life. ‘The Long Sleep’ is now swiftly followed by another EP of somewhat more abstract and challenging music on Everything Is Chemical.
It certainly begins in incongruous fashion. Based on the funereal piano keys for ‘Sing One Note Man’, Senley appears to have picked up from where he left off from ‘The Long Sleep’. Yet slowly the melody picks up and conjures up images of pastoral beauty, slightly tarnished by snatches of dialogue but Senley is not one for going down the obvious route. Thanks to its hypnotic collision of spoken word, busy electronic beats and discordant noise, ‘Agua, Cola, Beer’ could be a low budget version of Underworld’s ‘Born Slippy’. The remaining three tracks follow a similarly strange pattern: ‘What If It Turns Out Good’ and ‘I Knew It Was Love’ both balance the elegance of Senley’s piano and guitar playing with downright odd vocal and field recordings whilst the final track, ‘Colliding Lovers’, could even be Mike Oldfield jamming with The Stranglers whilst recording ‘The Raven’ LP.
Neither electronic, club, spoken word or classical but taking elements of all these genres, Senley has packed an awful lot into fifteen minutes. It may lack the cohesion and poignancy of ‘The Long Sleep’ but the willingness to experiment is plain for all to see and that has to be applauded.