Friday, 26 July 2019
Soft Issues – Soft Issues – Opal Tapes – LP- 2019 – OPAL147-12.
1. Crawl Backward.
4. Personal Sewer.
5. Pallid Mess.
6. Bleak Magic.
7. The World Of.
8. Grave Whip.
9. Hart Let Update.
10. Ruin the White Walls.
11. Spun Out.
I’ve heard the name Soft Issues floating about for a while, upon looking them up, I have found out they are a duo from Leeds UK. I’ve become a lot more open to ‘Noise with beats’ through the work of Aja Ireland, Salford Electronics, Consumer Electronics, Cremation Lily, etc. All the French stuff like Tetsuo and Abyyse has also blasted me open to this. So, I am going to take a closer look at this which is the second Soft Issues release after an EP in 2017.
The opening track Crawl Backward demonstrates some impressive shouting, the vocal is impressive and has an angry quality. The echo and faltering give way to some choppy, juddering cut up noise; the vocal becomes a background noise to as the digital juddering takes the lead. As thing progress there is some fun bouncy, large synthesiser noises in place, the vocals remain cut up and inaudible; they are frequently overtreated to become noise – at other times they are audible. The vocals have the effect of being somewhere between irritating and innovative, I feel vocal treatments play a large part in the project – it’s a strength.
The beats have variety, sometimes they judder and pulsate, at others they are a temporal addition that fades away leaving the noise to play out. The electronic noise is generally sharp and obnoxious – this often works at an energetic – frenzied pace. There is a consistent urgency to the noise that builds to high levels of anxiety raising hell at different times and I like the use of pulsating noise a lot, it’s playful, sometimes relentlessly repetitive. There are some impressive uses of high-volume pulsations, sharp noise and raging vocal, Bleak Magic is a strong example of this. I’d like to see how this pans out in a live context.
The Word Of, seems to go elsewhere by pulling everything back and allowing harmonious drones to do the work as sounds go off in the background. Slight noises tweak off in the background. This is a real break from things until the urgency comes back tenfold, I feel the album’s tracks are sometimes just demonstrations of violent urgency, but done in different ways.
The description of this is a load of hypey pap on the Bandcamp. In my view this is just a good, forward-thinking noise album. Good, strong, work that remains consistently interesting through its’ own wide variation of approach.
Choppy Noodles 2019.