WL//WH Video Premiere: SOFT RIOT jolts, scrapes and gambles with “A Spade Is Played Again” (Breakdown Version )

WL//WH Video Premiere  Soft Riot

WL//WH is pleased to welcome back Soft Riot, the longstanding solo moniker of  Vancouver-bred, Glasgow-based veteran experimental mutant Synth-Pop creator Jack Duckworth (a.k.a. JJD), with the Video Premiere for the scratchier “Breakdown Version” of Soft Riot’s first single, “A Spade Is Played Again”, taken from his forthcoming 10th album “No.”, scheduled to be released on August 11, 2023, via Possession Records (UK) and Wave Tension Records (NL).

Soft Riot’s sound is an amalgamation of JJD’s personal experience with music, containing elements of Synthesizer-based Film Soundtracks, romantic Italo-style flourishes, throbbing arpeggiations and angular, Psychedelic Synth-pop, all tied together with an underlying tension. It is a science-fiction-heavy soundscape that narrates the listener through today’s fractured, excessive landscape with hints of black humor.

One can still hear any number of echoes of the spirits of original synth artists in his sound, such as Images in Vogue, The Box, Section 25, Thomas Dolby, Skinny Puppy, Chrome, Cabaret Voltaire, Fad Gadget, Japan and Bill Nelson. The introduction of expanded production techniques, experiments with vocal styles and tones, and stylistic shifts mark a progression of Soft Riot’s sound. The result is a snarkier, urgent and more playful, with a focus on pure Synthpop, New Wave, Art-Punk, and proto-EBM as well as grittier Synth-Punk and Post-punk tones.

“A Spade Is Played Again” drives nostalgic, overwhelming thought-provoking vibes through a vibrant and dissonant flamboyant concoction of urgent heavy stomping drum beats, bouncy droning bass oscillations and whirring  FXs, manically stabbed by jagged and screechy resounding guitar riffs, to surround depth-defying gravelly vocal magnetism with menacing echoes swept in deception and doom.

For the Breakdown version, I opted to bust out my electric guitar — I’ve always vetoed the idea of putting guitar in Soft Riot music, mainly as it would be too ridiculous to execute songs live with all that extra instrumentation but I figured for this one I’d make a new rule and break the rules to throw down some scrappy post-punk guitar and work out some hybrid version to play live.

Dark, suggestive DIY visuals, starring JJD and Leyre Mann Vadillo, expose life as a rigged system where doubt and misdirection inject inverted perception into insightful visions. A pair of mysterious strangers play a psychic card game of guess the geometric shape, whilst dark celestial skies, neon 80s-tinged performance shots, and rapid shifts in motion shuffle latent negative feelings through a paranoid lens of subliminal fear.

Soft Riot‘s tenth full-length album “No.” is due out, in 12″ Vinyl LP /Digipak CD & Digital formats, on August 11, 2023, as a joint release between JJD’s co-founded label  Possession Records (UK) and Wave Tension Records (NL).

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