Review: Slomo – Transits

a1781500790_16Transits one of those ludicrous, hyperreal night sky photographs. Every single star is out, luminescent like phantoms, spilling like fine salt over an opaque, cloudless black. Slomo utilise every hemispherical inch of the canvas; the patches of emptiness are as carefully shaped as the synth glimmers and rumbling low frequencies that cradle them, every sound gifted its own generous expanse of sky in which to radiate and quietly implode. Drone has numerous utilities. Here, it’s perpetuating an image too rich and dreamlike to let slip, extending the nocturnal hours through sheer will of mind, holding the spectacle in place so that each detail can be examined and cherished before it fades away.

My favourite aspect of Transits is how it weaves the mystique of unfathomable distance (the detachment between myself and the stars) with the irrepressible desire to explore it. Those light chimes and guitar harmonics are almost illusionary; teardrops of overtone plopping into emptiness, too fantastical to touch. Yet into each of these three pieces, Slomo embed the whirr of rocket technology. Bubbles and shrieks of synthesiser circuitry are poured into the crevices, scurrying from left to right and back again, skimming over a low drone which, over time, starts to feel like the hum of an engine on stand-by. As the slow throb of “Super-Individual” starts to stack itself into a totem pole of synthesiser octaves, buzzing with increasing vigour as the layers compound, I hear electricity flooding to all parts of the shuttle – voltage forks out to the wings and the thrusters, gradually becoming luminescent like the sky into which it will imminently power itself. Overtones bloom upon overtones, distortion thickens like heat intensity. We’re close to lift-off.

And so Transits becomes a dance between an object (the beckoning sky) and a sort of mirror image (the earthly astronaut), drifting deliberately toward the mirror that separates them. As the soundscape grows, Slomo extend both the brightness of the nocturnal scene from above and the tendrils of my astral curiosity from below, shrinking the emptiness in between, reaching a point where the shimmer of the stars begins to bleed into the chatter of the cockpit intercom. Bass frequencies flare upward, shrill synth tones rain down. Man and the infinite become inseparable. Space and explorer reach out to touch one another.