Tag Archives: Galaxie 500

Slowcore: A Brief Timeline

Low

Low, photo by Lego.

You could easily argue against the idea of “slowcore” as a genre. Unlike its late-’80s/early-’90s contemporaries in shoegaze and grunge, there was never a geographic focus or self-celebrating scene. Its key bands formed all across the country, rarely toured together, and never seemed to swap notes or compare guitar pedals. There were no formative moments, no Sex Pistols at Manchester in ’76. Nothing close to an ethos.

But, crucially, there is a sound—or, rather, a continuity of sound—a commitment to allowing songs the room to breathe, to stripping things down to their essence before something bigger can be built back up around them. Even when the songs are fast or loud or busy, they never lose that essential clarity, that push toward beauty as its own end. Continue reading

Damon Krukowski Looks Back on Galaxie 500’s “On Fire”

Galaxie 500

“We knew we sounded wimpy compared to the rock ideal of the time. But to ourselves, we really were on fire” —Damon Krukowski

On Fire, which I recorded with my then-band Galaxie 500, was the last all-analog album I participated in. That means it’s not just old—it’s ancient. It was made to be a record—with two sides, and a paper sleeve. There was no other way to listen to it.

I can’t help but hear it now as preserved in analog amber for that reason. There’s a hesitation, an aura of space around its sounds that’s more than producer Kramer’s beloved plate reverb—I hear it even in the silences between tracks. Maybe it’s the awe we felt toward the recording process itself. Tape was rolling, our palms were sweating, we had one chance to get this down and here it was, for better or worse. Can you hear the sound of a moment passing from present to past?

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