Premiere: Meet Slow State, who introduces himself with a self-titled debut EP
The Perth-based musician, formerly known as one-half Command Q, makes a grand entrance with a spiralling, six-track debut EP.
If you're familiar with the history of West Australia's electronic music scene, then Command Q is most definitely an act that you've come to love - and now, miss - over the years. The pair - composed of Shaun and Louis - were once at the upper echelon of Australia's heavier music world in a similar vein as SLUMBERJACK and What So Not, leading this heavy, trap-inspired new generation of Australia's electronic music world until they eventually played their last show back in 2017.
Now, the pair are off doing their own things; Shaun launching his Monsoon Moon project a while ago with a string of singles / videos, while Louis looks forward to a new project of his own, unveiled this week as Slow State. Slow State is a new solo alias for Louis that has him in the front and centre, capturing the more cinematic side of his production prowess away from the heavier, more aggressively abrasive sounds of his past.
It all kicked off two months back with the project's launch, with Slow State being introduced through the ethereal and Bonobo-esque twists of The Wing Is Bending. Then, back in mid-June, came The Silence We Create - a second single which really deepened his sound and showcased another side of the multi-faceted and versatile musician. Through in an odd feature here or there for Angus Dawson, and you have a musician teetering on the edge of something really quite special, ready to burst through and become a new favourite of Perth's electronic / dance music realms.
If you're yet to be acquainted with Slow State - or have, and are searching for more - then today we're stoked to welcome you his self-titled debut EP, being six tracks that really welcome the musician's many sides through a project that really encapsulates what he's about. Across the space of the record, he has plenty of opportunities to shine, and plenty of ways to show it. There are completely solo tracks which feature Louis front-and-centre, ones that seem him aided by guest collaborators such as Melbourne's Yeo, and ones that see him breathe a new life into old tunes; the latter through a remix of Billie Eilish's break-out Ocean Eyes.
However, regardless of how he goes about it, Slow State's expertise is the binding cord that keeps everything in place. While the six tracks differ from one another, they're all quite rooted in differing paces of this synth-heavy sound that focuses on amplifying the beauty in drawn-out cinematic soundscapes, drawing comparisons with the likes of Jon Hopkins and Bonobo depending on the route he takes. It's all sensational stuff, and stuff that really encourages you to put a pause on what's going on and lose yourself for even just a few minutes.
You can dive into the EP below alongside a series of videos for the release made by Liam Oz, but other than that, you can also further introduce yourself to Slow State as we premiere the EP ahead of its full release later this week. It's really something special, and you should be paying attention.
Tell us about yourself?
I’m a classically trained percussionist, grew up on Punk Rock, Dashboard and Hardstyle, DJed trap around Aus for a few years and now collect Warhammer and teach music. I’ve been trying for 10 years to make the perfect Pad Thai and I live off South East Asian food.
I write slow music at night and usually fall asleep doing it.
What’s the vibe music-wise?
Slow State was never written to be shared, it always existed just in my headphones for myself. It’s a reflection of a visceral experience I encounter when sounds around me shift my emotional state. Often captured on Voice memo’s on my phone and then turned into
motifs or thematic material. It's Slow - almost too slow to catch a groove, it’s visceral - it pushes and pulls dynamically to generate its own breath, it’s hopeful - it’s less sad than it is peaceful and it puts your mind at ease.
What are your production and writing processes usually like
My brain at night feels like Night At The Museum, everything just comes alive and runs rampant. So usually my process consists of days of thinking, and nights of writing.
My production consists of taking snippets of sound grabs I’ve captured (usually from my travels) and then giving them musicality i.e becoming a melody, or creating a rhythmic idea. Then I’ll fill the space around the main idea as thick and crowded as possible, and spend the next 80% of the process taking sounds back out until it's left with what I think are integral in most effectively telling the story.
Can you tell us about your new self-titled EP?
This EP consists of songs I wrote 5 years ago, and songs I wrote this year. Some songs were gifts, others were about people, and one was about my forehead slammed against a pane of glass as I stood staring at a fire refusing to die in a thunderstorm.
The collection of songs hopefully will bring people some solace and hope in whats seemingly the endless bad news that is 2020. I honestly believe there is no better time to be sharing Music and Art. There’s some stories of love involved and a lot of nostalgic experiences of travel and meeting cool people.
What does 2020 have in store for you?
2020 is heinous. However, the silver lining is that there’s been A LOT of time at home to write. I’ve finished a second EP and have some pretty sick collabs lined up, across all disciplines of art - a lot of dancers and potentially the first Slow State Live. I’m super excited for this to be born, it will be very unique!
You were previously a part of Command Q, which is obviously a duo we used to talk about a lot back in the days. How does your project differ from your old work?
Oh man, they were definitely good times! This project couldn't be further to the other end of the musical universe than Command Q. Imagine you went to a CQ show, came home way too litty and needed to sit down and chill. Enter Slow State - your perfect come-down experience. In fact, can confirm that Slow State has helped people in this exact scenario float away into carelessness.
Where can we find more of your music?
At the moment, this is all there is. There will be a steady stream of releases this year, and I also have a Soundcloud where I’ll throw edits. Like the EP bonus track Ocean, which is a Billie Eilish edit I wrote in my travels through the US.