It’s funny how time can change your outlook on a record. Sometimes it’s circumstance, sometimes it’s the quality of the music itself but there are occasions when a record you love loses its shine or an album you forget about suddenly becomes mind-blowing. In the case of Tarot Sport, Fuck Button’s last full length release, I was totally into it for a while but eventually its candy coloured glow became sickeningly sweet and I lost interest.
So I was a little sceptical about the arrival of Slow Focus. But after hearing good things about it from a number of people I gave it a crack and was pleasantly surprised. The boys have done themselves a service by pushing aside the techno flourishes and replacing them with a grimier, dubbier palette. This isn’t quite bass music, but the focus is on deep grooves and lolling rhythms, densely layered drones highlighted by intricate melodies and spidery wavelengths of noise.
Perhaps best of all, the tracks on Slow Focus evolve and mutate as they play out, often finishing somewhere completely different to where they kicked off from. In the past Fuck Buttons have happy to ride out a concept for 10 minutes, using repetition to lure the listener into a zen-like state. On Slow Focus, they’ve matured enough to take us on a series of psychedelic journeys into swirling miasma of distortion. The bombast of Tarot Sport has been paired back to reveal more of the experimental expeditions that caused so many of us to fall in love with Fuck Buttons in the first place.
I’ve had this record for quite a while now, and so far I’m still listening to it. I’m still interested and excited by it. Will I still feel this way in a year’s time? Who knows. For now, Slow Focus is a fun ride and I’m totally psyched about seeing them play again at the Melbourne International Arts Festival in October.