Rick Senley runs two sound projects that are highly experimental and the Music For Voyeurs moniker is one of them. His latest release is an ambient collection of noise and sounds called “encounter” that weaves a weird and wonderful tale, not for the faint-hearted.
The album, for Rick, is actually a step towards something more melodic and riff based. String synths mark an indie film soundtrack vibe for “Song For Emma” and my personal highlight “Country Living” has a Walking Dead vibe as a simple electric guitar riff repeats with ambient guitar effects and warm drone synths seeping in and out. It’s such a sad and beautiful song at the same time – it reminds me of the Silent Hill soundtracks but with a more Americana vibe to it. It’s a shame that some of the electric guitar layerings are really off in terms of volume peaking though – not just for the song, but for the rest of the album. “Maybe Happy” sounds like a demo from the Cocteau Twins with that signature lush guitar sound. It points towards something but refuses to commit to it which leads perfectly back to the title. Rick’s having a real jam session in the background but there’s a purposely off chord that gives the hint that happiness is not assured. It’s another great experiment rock piece and “Johnny” has its moments too, whilst synth fanfare “Medley” closes out the album completely not in tone with the rest of the album, but more like a “ta-daaa its an alien leaving” movie end scene score.
Connecting the tracks are more conversational tracks with vocal snippets and ethereal underscores. They are curious because the snippets are interesting snapshots of conversations between people and more of a comment on the encounters they are having.
As usual, these highly experimental works are difficult to review as a “this is great/bad” because they are so esoteric, they become an individuals taste. Here, there are some really nice guitar palettes in particular but just be aware that there are sound balance issues that detract from the overall mysterious experience. I’d be fascinated to hear Music For Voyeurs’ guitar palette really expanded out into a full release as I think it’d be excellent.
Recommended track: Country Living