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Slomo – Transits


Slomo - TransitsTransits consists of three evenly spaced explorations of sonic time and motion taken – as the band name suggests – at the speed that the duo of Holy McGrail and Howard Marsden find most conducive to eroding the boundaries between the listener and the music. So filters and oscillators hover and enter into holding patterns that transition gently (and sometimes less so) from a state of twinkly cruise control to deep space bass, unhurried and contemplative.

The album almost precesses rather than progresses, turning at a rate that suits interplanetary travel, star- or navel-gazing; anything that requires prolonged drifting, in other words. The vibrant interference that rises smoothly into fed-back scrawls of frazzled overtones halfway through “Concerning The Explorers” is differentiated enough from the ambient undertow so as to pull the attention in new directions, charged with a brief yet elevated, almost febrile energy.

As with all things in Transits, these new dimensions neither last forever nor overstay their allotted term, for if one thing is certain on this album, it is change, gradual as it might be. The smooth transportation of elements is achieved via a constant, fluid motion. It’s worth mentioning that McGrail has performed with SunnO))) and is a member of Black Sheep alongside Julian Cope, and Slomo certainly share some of the same affection for audio transubstantiation achieved through the medium of amplification. In this case, the duo succeed in turning the lifeblood of their electronic impulses into a physically tangible body of treble and bass when played at substantial volume.

Likewise, this music reigns supreme on headphones, enveloping and absorbing the quotidian outer world into an inner space of suitably galactic proportions. The sunspot activity that heralds “Super-individual” surges and spreads creeping tendrils of electrical devolution, shifting the mood from the brighter solar realm into more crepuscular spaces. Twittering resonances and heaving sythetic swirls mix light into gathered-in darkness, brooding and portentous; those in search of a quick fix should abandon all hope here, as that’s not what Slomo offer at all. Instead, there are estranged angels at the end of the clangorous feedback tunnel, machine elves transcendent in spirited conversation among themselves, conducted in what might be the original (electrical) Enochian.

All of which is swept away, made void and afresh for “The Dialectic”, where the voyage of celestial discovery is at once softer and yet more elevated. Slomo probe calmly and steadfastly at the borders of ambient perception, riding the theta waves of bass that again really only make complete sense when nudging the levels upwards to the best ability of the reproducing equipment. The speaker cones themselves soon become audible instruments, given enough boost, and the higher ranges soon join in the broad-spectrum immersion, phasing and filtering until blessed, stuttering noise is allowed to run free and frangible among the feedback.

For best results, Transits is an album to be savoured and revisited, one for the hours when no destination is required and there is all the time in – and off – the world.

-Antron S Meister-

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