"Their trademark ebullience has been replaced by a reflective use of space and percussion. Remember, “Silence is a rhythm too”… Still, it’s hellish good."
Slits – Return of the Giant Slits
Fantastic! I know they’re a trendy proposition nowadays but that really shouldn’t matter when you have music as good as this. Return of the Giant Slits (my personal favourite, though why I like it better than Cut I don’t know…) sounds so much fresher than the vinyl, maybe their style suited the fragmented, pristine quality digital sound brings.
I always liked the suggestive tribal opener Earthbeat, it’s just the most strange opening track to an album. Gone is the feisty stroppiness, as the silences propel the tracks much more than Ari’s voice do. It’s the most reflective of their work, mixing a Mittel European angst with a lilting skank to great effect. Face Place still sounds creepy, as if it’s recorded by the ghosts of playful children. And Animal Space/Spacier is still as lackadaisical as it ever was.
Now, with this release you get a bonus CD, Double Discuss, with old dub remixes and a bloody interview…If you haven’t guessed already, Earthbeat Japan and Earthbeat (Deutsch) are Earthbeat in the languages of the countries mentioned. Somehow they sound a hell of a lot better. Face Dub and Begin Again are both very enjoyable slabs of funk whereas that interview…
If you’ve never heard the Slits’ work before, then listening to Return of the Giant Slits could underwhelm. It’s certainly not what you’d have been led to expect. Their trademark ebullience has been replaced by a reflective use of space and percussion. Remember, “Silence is a rhythm too”… Still, it’s hellish good.
Words: Richard Foster