Best known for playing guitar for Britain’s legendary post-punk trailblazers Wire since 2010, Matthew Simms assumes his nom de plume Slows to craft slow and serene instrumentals. Recorded throughout winter in his small studio space in the Kent (UK) countryside, Enormous Pause comprises passages of electric organ and modular synth, variously droning and rumbling across two gorgeous sidelength pieces. In addition to Slows and Wire, Simms is also a core member of dream poppers It Hugs Back and improv supergroup UUUU, while increasingly in demand as a producer and session musician, recently working with Chastity Belt and Bill Fay.
“This is the first time I’ve recorded music knowing it was going to released on cassette,” says Simms. “I was reminded of how I first started recording music when I was 12 on a four-track; of the fantastic effect it has on capturing overdriven sounds.” Improvisation is at the core of Slows’ music, Simms attempting to come up with at least one entirely original piece for every live show he plays under the name. Much of the music on Enormous Pause originated while preparing to play opening slots for two of his favourite bands: Chicago’s Tortoise and London’s Tomaga. The result is two ethereal sides of gossamer keyboard melodies, buoyed by analogue warmth as they slowly move through space echo chambers. This is easily some of Simms most impulsive and varied solo to date, flowing freely between cosmic synth ambience and the all manner of tape-distorted emotion without ever ceasing to engage deeply with the listener.
Matthew Simms: electric organ, modular synthesizer & effect pedals. Artwork by Daniel Castrejón, Photos by Diego Berruecos.