10 April, 2009
In the summer of 2008 Australian label Endgame published For The Time Being, a 2-CD compilation by a trio “from the Northern beaches of Wollongong” named A Slow RIP, the last word an acronym for R(ob) Laurie, I(an) Miles and (P)hil Turnbull. These gentlemen, who definitely don’t look like snotty kids on the press release photos, express themselves through a whole array of instruments including guitars, bass, percussion, analogue synthesizers, winds and a few vocalizations.
They have been releasing quite a number of self-made CDRs over the years, from which the best tracks for this set were selected. Except for a couple of episodes overly tending to a kind of noisy psychedelia that conclude the first disc and sound positively second-rate, the experience of going through the entire set was mostly enjoyable. Avoiding the help of MIDI or any other electronic facilitation, ASR are heavily into stratifications of echoing resonances, arcane repetitiveness, revelatory ceremonials for jangling guitars and hypnotic keyboards; blurred terms of reference could be Pink Floyd circa A Saucerful Of Secrets, Djam Karet, early Aidan Baker, early Philip Glass and a chunky list of German cosmic couriers, with particular relevance to Ash Ra Tempel.
Considering the great diversity of the artists’ backgrounds (all multi-instrumentalist protagonists of the Australian alternative scene, from experimental jazz to post-punk), the record is surprisingly coherent with a poetry of the non-attack, a pleasurable journey indeed. Recommended for those who still like their dose of lysergic trance in the middle of an otherwise regular evening: certain chapters – “The Freeway Temple” and “Look Back” come to mind – are alone worth the price of admission.