A stalwart of the international synth scene for around two decades, Vancouver-bred, Glasgow-based artist JJD (Jack Duckworth), a.k.a. Soft Riot is certainly not someone sitting on the fence even in these oppressive times of lockdown.
Following late last year widely acclaimed 7th album, “When Push Comes To Shove”, included in most best-of-2019 lists, Soft Riot makes his ‘rentrée’ with the eighth full-length “Chin Up”, that represents a unique addition to his rich catalogue. Written mostly at the same time along with the material pressed onto his latest LP, it’s a very different sound, trying in more on a different trajectory of the artist’s output that includes 2014’s soundtrack styled album “Some More Terror” or even Soft Riot’s initial release, 2011’s “No Longer Stranger”.
“Chin Up” contains 11 tracks of what might be loosely described as “ambient synthpop” with a running time of almost an hour. It is in a way a mirror release to “When Push Comes To Shove”, as both records share the same approach to composition, sound design and production techniques but with different results.
WL//WH is very pleased to premiere the DIY video, filmed, processed and edited by JJD in March–April 2020 with some assistance from MM Lyle, for the song “Who Knows Where You’ll Be”.
The immersive and gripping darkly atmospheric soundscape exudes an ominous stifling claustrophobic aura that spins piercing, glowing synth chimes around densely slow droning bass echoes, suffocating the soft abrasive inhuman vocals, left drowning in disfigured dreams.
Detached, disillusioned lyrics tread through an unsure existence in a disconnected search to find comfort and understanding.
The surreal video blends textured layers of grey hexagon waves morph into billowing smoke clouds slowly spreading across a lonely shadowed profile, along an empty tunnel of desperate depression. A piercing blue eye cuts through the monochromatic backdrop of sullen decay, as barren treetops spin above, transitioning into the earth tone colors of a modest brownstone before breaking away into etched stone. Colour blooms briefly in hopeful blossoms before returning to the somber figure trapped in the endless doorways of the mind’s eye as surges of electricity crawl aimlessly before a return to the geometric flow of emotional desolation left wandering.
Soft Riot‘s eighth full-length album “Chin Up” is slated for release, CD & Cassette, on 27 April 2020 through his co-founded Glasgow-based DIY label Possession Records. In the meantime get the Digital Version and all tracks before the release date for only £1.00.
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