Jónsi And Alex Riceboy Sleeps on 2LP
Featuring Sigur Rós Vocalist/Guitarist Jónsi & Visual Artist/Musician Alex Somers
Known primarily for his haunting falsetto and other-worldly presence as the singer in Sigur Rós, Jon Thor Birgisson aka Jónsi has, together with his partner Alex Somers, been exhibiting artwork and staging exhibitions under the name Riceboy Sleeps for years now, including the release of a limited edition picture book. The early fruits of the musical side of this collaboration surfaced in physical form for the first time, with the track "Happiness," on the exemplary Dark Was The Night Red Hot compilation.
Riceboy Sleeps is human in a profound and verging-on spiritual way. It says nothing, literally, and yet living through its 68-minutes you emerge feeling much has been revealed. Its slowly evolving abstract landscapes are both edifying and life-affirming. The record works as a whole, and exists in a contemplative dream-state, unconstrained and mesmeric, seemingly outside time. The record, however, is more active than its apparent antecedents in the ambient output of Brian Eno, and other deliberately low-impact works.
Riceboy Sleeps is awash with both tension and stimuli, as well as being frequently, and stunningly, beautiful. Played solely on acoustic instruments in Iceland and featuring long-time string collaborators Amiina, as well as the Kopavogsdaetur choir, Riceboy Sleeps has a suitably organic feel. The full-length Riceboy Sleeps album (the name having migrated from artist moniker to album title) subtly redefined expectations of slow and elegiac instrumental music in 2009.