Pillowdiver is the alias of René Margraff, Berlin based Drone/Ambient/Minimalistc musician. As the name of the project and even the album title suggest – this is very relaxing music. Sleeping Pills is one of my favorite albums to fall asleep to, and lately has been my go-to. I don’t use music to sleep that often though, sometimes I find it too distracting, even when it’s very minimal like this album. I’ve also been listening to this after a stressful day of work or as I’m winding down for the day, it’s perfect for introspection.
The songs are all titled as different numbers, and honestly it’s fruitless to try and describe each song like this were a regular album. That’s not really an issue in the Drone/Ambient world though, it’s more like one massive piece than a collection of songs. The majority of the sound made on this album is done with an electric guitar, ambient tones, and on occasion a backup guitar. It reminds me most of Earth’s Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light I&II (2011-2012), so if you’re a fan of Earth then I think you’ll love this. Pillowdiver’s use of drone is impeccable – it creates the perfect dreamlike environment for the guitar to spark your imagination. The mood he creates is not happy-go-lucky, but it’s not completely melancholy either. It’s just perfect for quiet contemplation or just to fill your head as you drift off to sleep.
There are of course a great number of albums that aim to do this – and what sets Sleeping Pills apart from the rest is very hard to describe. Just like all other genres it comes down to personal taste, but of course that isn’t too helpful. I think it also comes down to personal history as well. I grew up listening to guitar music so it’s just natural I would gravitate to something like this over something like Brian Eno’s ambient works. I am still in love with the tones that the electric guitar can produce, and the production on this album is superb. The guitars are crisp but still airy and dreamy, and the drone never overpowers the mood that is set.
If you haven’t listened to an Ambient album before, why not try now? Listen to this album and take note of where your mind drifts, what memories are brought to the surface. Albums like this are much more about that than a catchy tune to pass the time.