Sluice: “Time, Gentlemen”

DNRC015 | LP | 2003 | DELETED

Portarlington’s extraordinarily prolific Sluice emerged from that fine city’s Chinese-rock underground to redefine what it meant to make music. Featuring four guitarists, no vocals and one battered tape recorder, they embarked on a four year musical odyssey that took in all of their native city’s extensive musical influences and that would lead them to collaborations with Dr Sick and Cruns. Their sadly-deleted sophomore album, “Time, Gentlemen”, is considered by many to be the high water mark of their turbulent career. Its nine freeform improvisations challenged the musical orthodoxy of the time in which they were created, apparently withour rehearsals. A tenth track (later versions of which plied the bootleg circuit) was abandoned when the afore-mentioned tape recorder’s batteries went dead. Described by one critic as “the sound of a city eating itself”, the album’s freewheeling title track, with its oddly prophetic mantra “time, gentlemen/ time, please” has come to be regarded as a classic of its genre. The existence of this genre, sadly, has not led to the spawning of Sluice-influenced bands in Portarlington or anywhere else.

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