So Slow
Dharavi


4.3
superb

Review

by Greg Fisher STAFF
July 4th, 2014 | 26 replies | 5,363 views


Release Date: 06/30/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: So Slow's debut album combines noise rock with urban mysticism to dazzling effect.

Deriving its title from a large slum in Mumbai, Dharavi revolves around the idea that all social problems are ingrained in an urban landscape. The debut full-length from Warsaw collective So Slow may not be a concept album, but the notion of urbanism permeates through its Polish-sung lyrics that liken a city to an arena where the outcasts need to confront the privileged. The theme of urbanism is also deeply felt in the quintet's atmospheric brand of noise rock that favors an expansive scope over minimalism. The riffs range from sinewy to hypnotic, while the intricate drumming always provides a reliable skeleton for stylistic excursions.

Even though So Slow are clearly inspired by noise rock and post-hardcore which thrived in the 1990s, they cannot be accused of slavish imitation as Dharavi boasts a distinctive sound that's rife with sonic experimentation. For all pummeling bass lines and discordant guitar play, there are trance-laden segments that deftly blend with robust arrangements. The five-piece incorporate traces of jazz, electronica and post-rock into their music, developing a penchant for instrumentation that's not normally associated with noise rock. There are splendid jazzy saxophone parts that lend '1852' a chill-out finale and evoke the feeling of mounting paranoia on an 11-minute freak-out, 'Starzy Sa Krolowie Swiata.' The band's frontman Lukasz Jedrzejczak uses various samples that finely augment the record's underlying theme, but also his keys broaden the outfit's sonic palette. They both enhance the title track's free-flowing spirituality and embellish the kaleidoscopic closer 'Takie Niezwykle Sa Pozne Dni' with a futuristic vibe. The singer also doesn't steer clear of vocal manipulation, which only adds to the deranged psychedelic magnetism many of these tracks seethe with.

The songwriting on display is diverse, treading a fine line between explosive post-hardcore bursts and quieter, more contemplative passages. 'Prosto W Noc' overflows with infectious energy that stems from formidable guitar work and impassioned vocals, yet the band manage to throw a curveball halfway through with an off-kilter bridge. 'Starzy Sa Krolowie Swiata' showcases the quintet at their most experimental, patiently building up to a genuinely unsettling climax that would be a highlight on the latest Swans offering. Conversely, 'Manahatta' starts off vigorously with violent sonic attacks only to slowly fade away in the end. 'Delray' is the only cut that doesn't quite work as its drone approach disrupts the flow of an otherwise dynamic presentation.

Dharavi may be technically a debut outing, but the musicians involved are hardly new to the game having honed their craft in numerous Polish underground outfits. That's probably why the album sounds so cohesive. It radiates right from the first listen with expansive, richly layered songs that almost never lose their sharp focus. With the record's dazzling fusion of noise rock and urban mysticism, So Slow have already hit on their winning formula. This is Polish music at its very best.




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user ratings (14)
Chart.
4.1
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
greg84
Staff Reviewer
July 4th 2014



7361 Comments

Album Rating: 4.3

A quick review. Hope it reads fine.

Here's the stream:

http://instantclassic.bandcamp.com/album/dharavi

Digging: 68 - In Humor and Sadness

IronGiant
July 4th 2014



798 Comments


bands cool, thanks for introducing me to an otherwise well-kept secret

greg84
Staff Reviewer
July 4th 2014



7361 Comments

Album Rating: 4.3

You're welcome. The band seriously need some more exposure. This LP is fantastic.

Taxt
July 4th 2014



629 Comments


Sounds interesting, I'll check this out. Nice review

JohnnyOnTheSpot
July 4th 2014



473 Comments


Cool. Thx for sharing

Digging: Sa-Roc - Nebuchadnezzar

djunior
July 4th 2014



743 Comments


I like what Ive heard from this so far. It's been on my to listen to list.

Digging: Curses - Call the Doctor

BMDrummer
July 4th 2014



6011 Comments


This sounds cool, gonna check this out

Digging: J Mascis - Tied to a Star

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
July 5th 2014



4410 Comments


yeah, this song is really good. good review. there's some interesting combination of influences. Like I can hear some Mastodon
in there, always open mouth and earlier fear before the march of flames as well as some post-metal influences. Honestly
it's a great sound they have, I'm sure the album is as fun as you say. Might have to pick this up.


Digging: Shabazz Palaces - Lese Majesty

greg84
Staff Reviewer
July 5th 2014



7361 Comments

Album Rating: 4.3

I couldn't recommend it more, Hernan. Yes... there's definitely some post-rock/post-metal in there. Haven't heard anything you mentioned aside from Mastodon. Haha.

StreetlightRock
Emeritus
July 5th 2014



3766 Comments


This is sick

Digging: Interpol - El Pintor

dawija1017
July 5th 2014



555 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Diggin this...finally some featured music that I actually like...thank you

Digging: Every Time I Die - From Parts Unknown

greg84
Staff Reviewer
July 5th 2014



7361 Comments

Album Rating: 4.3

Glad you're digging this guys. I saw them live last Wednesday. It was rad.

The last featured music I dug was probably the latest Mastodon album. Haha.

PiedradeLuna
July 5th 2014



146 Comments


Good review! Will check them out. Found these in your review though:

"...but the the notion of urbanism propels through its Polish-sung lyrics ...", extra the

"...they cannot be accused of slavish limitation as Dharavi boasts a distinctive sound that's rife with sonic experimentation...", not sure but I believe you meant "slavish imitation" and not limitation but I could be wrong.

Also, in the first paragraph the word urban/urbanism appears multiple times and reads a bit repetitive because you don't use it in the rest of the review at all. Kind of front loaded the theme.

greg84
Staff Reviewer
July 5th 2014



7361 Comments

Album Rating: 4.3

All very good points. Thanks a bunch. Fixed.

clander270
July 5th 2014



150 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Album sounds awesome. Not really what I generally consider noise-rock, but still great nonetheless. Great review also!

greg84
Staff Reviewer
July 5th 2014



7361 Comments

Album Rating: 4.3

Thanks.

Yeah. They market it as noise rock, and it definitely has some elements that characterize the genre like angular guitar riffs and audible bass lines, but the music often goes in an experimental direction... so, it sort of redefines the genre. Post noise-rock lol.

Calc
July 5th 2014



12134 Comments


paperback hit it right on the head, mastodon combined with fear before the march of flames.

Digging: Jizue - Shiori

dawija1017
July 5th 2014



555 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It sounds a little like These Arms Are Snakes at times too

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
July 5th 2014



10064 Comments


All these influences sound like something I'd really love.

Digging: The Contortionist - Language

TheBarber
July 5th 2014



1834 Comments


This looks awesome will check

Digging: Interpol - El Pintor



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