- Margot Adler, Drawing Down the Moon
A spell to slow down time, a drawing back of the veil between worlds, the way that a song also contains multitudes. Slow Motion Summer is a record fixated, both metaphorically and literally, on time. It draws on the way we experience time, weaving strands of recorded sound stretched and spun at a host of different speeds to both alter and extend our perception of the moment that's swirling around us. It's also a record obsessed with the secret world, with the infinite possible ghostly echoes and iterations of any given thing, any given instant, any given piece of music - that all lie churning and spectral, just beyond our awareness. In many ways, this is the album, the hidden chamber, that Jakob has been working to uncover their entire life.
From the very beginning, the writing and production of Slow Motion Summer was a consciously radical effort to move beyond recording and performing songs that feel as though they've been slowed down, into writing songs specifically made to actually be slowed down. It was recorded almost entirely with just a 1987 Yamaha PSS-370 synthesizer and voice, using deliberate equalization, delay, reverb, and pitch shifting to construct an entire sonic landscape from just a few faded, audibly haunted elements. Each song was composed with different speeds and ultimate temporal treatments in mind, made familiar by years of slowing down other artists' songs in Audacity long after dark by the monitor's glow. They were then recorded in real-time, meticulously arranged, painted, and prepared with all the necessary distensions and coloring to arrive at their proper final states once later slowed and melted. Then, an MT4X four-track cassette recorder (1999, also Yamaha) was used to coax the envisioned spirits out of the songs through successive generations of speed-controlled tape bounce, each pass adding a layer of cobwebs and dust that further drew the record out of the realm of the familiar and into darker and distant corners altogether. Lastly, the songs themselves were sampled, stretched and cast back out into each other in strange new unrecognizable forms, living multiple lifetimes across one LP and flowing through each other in ectoplasmic currents of sound.
These are six songs from beneath the floorboards, six incantations designed to bend the infinitely unfolding present according to their will. Their exterior shells have been cracked so that one possible other essence might be called forth. Here, Jakob has moved beyond the familiar signifiers of altered experience, beyond the standard sonic psychedelisicms of the 20th century, always tucked into otherwise ordinary songs to merely hint and gesture at the outer reaches of possible human perception. From the moment it begins, Slow Motion Summer literally alters your experience, calling you into just one of the secret whispering worlds below, one where everything has been recast in rich alien shadow. Holes have been carved in the songs themselves, creating yawning chasms where gaseous forms claw up at us before dissipating into the darkness. Tempo and pitch hang suspended, sliding like flesh from the bone, and a warm blanket of tape hiss subsumes echoing trails of synthesizer and layered voice, marking the threshold of still other impenetrable spaces beyond.
These are the first six entries in an empty grimoire. They've been run through the alchemist's alembic, allowing ecstatic vision and demented faith to free the true voice gestating within. Each of them is a chalk circle drawn under moonlight, set in a spell sympathetic to our experience of time, calling softly as if from a great distance, but somehow still just at our feet.
Slow Motion Summer was mastered by James Plotkin, chosen for his years of work on extreme and challenging recordings for the likes of Sun O))), Nuclear War Now Productions, Merzbow, John Carpenter, Fabio Frizzi, & beyond. It will be released in the states in an edition of 100 copies on Wisteria colored 12" vinyl via Jakob's own Lilien Hexen imprint. In Europe, Stoned to Death will be handling a special cassette edition, marking Jakob's second collaboration with the Czech underground label.