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Slow Six, "Private Times in Public Places"

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Habit of Creation
An orchestral band with an interesting twist, Slow Six have compiled this debut album from tracks they've recorded over the last four years, though none of it sounds in the least dated. The twist is the use of an active computer that takes in the sounds the members make and interprets them into what it will, used mainly in a live setting but put to slight use on these recordings, as well. Though they work with other artists when they perform as sort of a rule, there is no missing component when listening to these songs, as they're certainly dynamic enough to hold attention. Sometimes they take a while to warm up, or to get to that next shift, but there's never a moment of absolute staggering boredom that attacked me. What also struck me is the care in the packaging, like it was an art project all its own, as the cover photo has so much meaning, like the Empire State Building is a great unknown forbidden to those who live behind the fence. The liner notes are actually a photograph of the walls in their rehearsal space, where guitarist Peter Cressy actually wrote the words on the wall in a very elegant style. It's a small gesture, but it shows the commitment and care of these artists to and for their work. The songs number three, with the shortest clocking it at almost nineteen minutes, and they represent a full range of emotions as well as variations in what the band is capable of. Each has its own breath and life, and moves with a spirit that feels like a wise and aged soul. To break these massive passages down to "the violin sounds great" is almost an insult to their beauty, but the instruments are played with great skill and passion, and the music becomes more lovely with every replay. Violin, viola, and cello are joined with guitars and Rhodes piano and the aforementioned computer instruments — no percussion. It's not missed or even needed, and the sounds all swirl together in an artful embrace. I hope the band tours outside their native New York so I can see this first hand, and that there's more to come from these practitioners of the slow and somber. 

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 August 2005 04:21  


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