"Music For Suicides" is the debut album of instrumentalist Michael Lewis under the title of Stand Alone Complex.
Stand Alone Complex blends the edges of a number of electronic genres, creating a sound that takes from Trip-hop, Ambient, Electronica and even a little Industrial without sitting too firmly in any one place.
From the opening track "Last Of The Long Term Friendships", there is a faint sense of recent Nine Inch Nails works such as the "Ghost" albums, with that familiar piano tone, ringing out over oceans of reverb, creating a strong sense of scale and atmosphere.
As you move onto the rest of the album, you will notice that the tempo rarely seems to get past an amble, with slow attacking pads and lo-fi drum sounds leading the listener along at a gentle pace, perhaps giving you more time to appreciate what has been lain out before you than is the norm these days.
"Music For Suicides" requires a certain amount of patience from a listener's point of view, maybe philosophising that the end result is more important than instant gratification, omitting vocals instead for the textured layers of percussion, glitching and pads.
Whilst that is a refreshing approach to take in a music industry seemingly preoccupied with faster and faster track turnarounds, this does mean that this is not an album for casual consumption, but instead an album for contemplation and reflection.
There is no denying there is a lot of craft and guile behind these tracks, and they are an epic collection of tracks that feel like they belong as the soundtrack to some "Film Noir" or "Dystopian Future" film.
However, despite the somewhat provocative album title, there is little beyond the texturing of the songs to bring you back on a regular basis, and whilst this is ample soundtrack material, is not as disturbing or as evocative as it perhaps could have been, or indeed should have been based on an album entitled "Music For Suicides".
Ultimately, if you are looking for a challenging, ambient artist, Stand Alone Complex certainly offers good value, leaving no option other than to listen to the album as a whole and enjoy it as a complete piece of art, but if you are looking for an album of hooks and catchy choruses, you may want to keep looking.
Artist Link: http://www.myspace.com/standalonesongs