Welcome to library breaks *chopped 'n screwed*! Slow (Motion And Movement), originally released on Sonoton in 1980, is super-sought-after and full of crazy dubby, super SLLLLLOOOOWWWWW and super HEAVVVVVY library breaks. It's also home to blinding new age/synthy tracks that are equally great. It's really varied throughout, but all absolutely fantastic.
Slow features KPM/Bruton/Sonoton-legend John Fiddy, the mighty Sonoton founder and composer, arranger and conductor Gerhard Narholz in 2 of his best-loved guises - Sammy Burdson and Norman Candler (get it?) - as well as a couple of fine offerings from Antonio Campo.
Heavy opener "Slow Business 1" is veeeerrrrrrryyyyyy slooooooooow with the phased drums so beloved of Narholz but this time delivered by Campo, with a proud, deliberate piano melody and great bassline adorning the creeping rhythm. "Slow Business 2" is equally as slooooooow but without any melodic decoration. Just pure phased drums, folks! Get sampling. "Moody You" is Narholz's first track on the record and what a beauty it is. A languorous, insouciant, slo-mo guitar soul track with warm synths, electric piano and heavy drums. It sounds a wee bit like an erotic film score, and all the better for it. "Slow Groovement" is Campo's final contribution and it's definitely his best. It's an ace, moody-yet-melodic crime/blaxploitation track with gorgeous percussive elements, mellifluous Rhodes and twinkling piano over a fantastic bassline and drums with some great electric guitar soloing halfway through.
"Slow Reactor 1" is Narholz again, under his Burdson pseudonym, and it's him all the way, now, joined by John Fiddy for half the tracks. This one is a tense, phased, slo-mo thriller with mysterious percussive elements and ominous strings. "Threat To Research" contains mysterious, dramatic sounds and heaps of string-assisted tension whilst "Ion Exchanger" is replete with repetitive, strange accents and sounds; all half-tumbling drums and dead tense, again. Truly, a taut experience and ideal for adventurous sample-based beat-heads. "Wave Motions" is a real highlight and the first to feature John Fiddy. It's a beatless ambient banger with slowly changing sound waves. It sounds like Angelo Badalamenti would if he were crafting strung-out teutonic library madness in 1980. The A-Side closes with "Slow Motion Link" which is over waaaay too soon but just simply needs looping. Trust us. Phenomenally dope!
Flip over for "Scenic Vision 1" for here, ladies and gentlemen, we go sublime. It's an absolutely stunning ambient wonder, with slowly changing textures and colours that create a peaceful, gliding, tranquil atmosphere of sheer bliss. You will not want it to end. Whilst "Scenic Vision 2" adds a bass melody, "Scenic Vision 3" uses the same melody but renders it isolated and lonely in the background. Haunting, hypnotic and hyper-beautiful. "Study In Brown" is s a lengthier number, with room to stretch out, and features Fiddy back in the game. Again, a slow, isolated melody gradually segues - by way of Fiddy's mournful electric guitar solo - into a slow heavy rhythm with rumbling, groovy bass and stratospheric drums.
"Deja Vu 1" weaves swirling, disorientating magic. It's described on the original sleeve simply as "indefinite arpeggios inexplicable vision" and we can't put it any better ourselves. "Deja Vu 2" sounds like you've heard it before, it's "as above with melodic line" and really is fun. "Glistening Surface" sounds exactly as you'd expect, all frisson-inducing movements, slow waves and generally peaceful scenic sounds. This remarkable library record closes with "Laser Fight", blasting "utopian percussive sounds" that totally get under your skin like fireworks through your veins. A neat trick!
Established in Munich in 1965 by Gerard and Rotheide Narholz, Sonoton introduced library music to Germany. Initially intended to cater to the country's new TV market, the library also provided an avenue for Gerhard Narholz's astonishing musical prolificacy, and soon became a haven for a wide range of European composers and musicians. In 1969, Sonoton struck a deal with the British label Berry Music for international publishing rights, exposing its catalog to a worldwide audience; when Berry was bought out by EMI in 1973, Sonoton transitioned into a full-fledged international label, with successes in the library and commercial fields and many innovations to its credit. Now a worldwide operation with hundreds of producers and composers under its employ, Sonoton nonetheless remains an independently run business still helmed by its founders - a remarkable achievement in an era when nearly every other major library has been absorbed by a multinational conglomerate.
The audio for Slow (Motion And Movement) has been remastered by Be With regular Simon Francis, ensuring this release sounds better than ever. Cicely Balston's expert skills have made sure nothing is lost in the cut whilst the original, iconic sleeve has been restored here at Be With HQ as the finishing touch to this long overdue re-issue.