The Still is two Australians – pianist Chris Abrahams of The Necks and percussionist Steve Heather – with Canadian Derek Shirley on double bass, and German Rico Repotente on guitar. Their loosely woven instrumentals are not very “now”; they could be from ten years ago, or 20. They don’t seek your attention or attempt in any obvious way to hold it – but as the name promises, these six songs create a stillness, or space, in which time seems to slow. More therapy than mood music.
Themes on all four instruments circle back lazily, with every note or melody simply giving way to the next. Repotente’s noodling nods to blues, surf and jazz and Abrahams, as always, can’t put a finger or foot wrong (fans of The Necks fans will enjoy hearing him play more sentimentally too, as on The Descent).
Throughout, there’s a horizon glow of The Dirty Three’s combustive din, which flares into flames on the grandiose final track The Ecstatic, the screech of feedback even resurrecting Warren Ellis’s wrung-out wall of fiddle.