The difference between the initial version of “Running Battle” and the updated, mark II incarnation is visceral. While the Slomatics of ‘Flooding the Weir’ and ‘Kalceanna’ were undoubtedly heavy, the band has systematically upped the amplitude and dropped the frequencies over a series of splits leading up to last year’s ‘A Hocht’. To the uninitiated ear of the band’s earlier work, the original recording of “Running Battle”, absurdly, sounds thin when compared to the shock-wave rumble of the new incarnation found on ‘The Future Past’. The addition of kettle drum and oscillating radio-wave frequencies that have effused through the interstellar medium give the track an otherworldly roar that was simply absent on the original cut. “Son of Ampbreaker” seemingly interrupts “Running Battle” before it’s even finished. The track starts off slow by stumbling along through feedback and staggered, heavy riffing before gaining a lumbering, mid-tempo momentum. Both of these reworked tracks could easily have fit in amongst the down-tuned, thunderous psychedelia of ‘A Hocht’.
If ‘The Future Past’ marks the end of an era for Slomatics and heralds new things to come it will be interesting to see where they go from here. With each subsequent release the band has become heavier while experimenting with sound and atmospherics. While it looks like ‘The Future Past’ will only see a digital release, the collection acts as an extension or complementary piece to ‘A Hocht’.
Words: Steve Miller