Soft Riot ‎– Chin Up

Chin Up is the eighth album by Soft Riot and a unique one in the Glasgow-based Canadian artist’s catalogue. Written mostly at the same time along with the material pressed onto his latest album, When Push Comes To Shove (Possession Records, Nov 2019) — it’s a very different sound, tying 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 synth pop” 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. When Push Comes To Shove, being a milepost in Soft Riot’s main timeline of experimental, auteur synth pop, provides the extrovert side of JJD’s artistic output — an active listen that sounds suitable in a club or other energetic environment. Chin Up is a reflective mirror to these qualities; being the darker introvert counterpart, in a more sporadic, alternative timeline — a passive listen more suitable for the depths of the night after the everything has closed, alone in your apartment.

It’s a very personal release, written in the late night hours as an escape from the trappings of things like culture, scenes, political calamity, information overload, existential dread and the confines of what is considered synthesizer pop music. Its genesis is rooted in a feeling of endless grey malaise, especially in the record’s long and labyrinthine feel — but then taking that initial idea and expanding its colour. There’s a fine balance that’s carefully engineered throughout the record; a balance between creeping dead, melancholy and a sense of finding a moment to rest and internal resolve.

The result is a record full of large cavernous spaces where all of the instruments are placed with careful distance in that space. It’s synth pop shifted into new bearings, where styles of ambience, drone and soundtrack-influenced ideas make themselves the foremost presence.

CD / Cassette / Digital Album

Posted on June 7th, 2020 under Releases, ,

Neugrau ‎– Beneath The Skin

The 12th instalments on the label is signed by NeuGrau a brand new project from Ingmar Pauli and Saša Rajković. Their sound brings to mind rough 80s/90s dark wave with a punk/rock tinge and bass guitar as the lead instrument.

The duo is hard to pin down: synth mixture, prominent bass guitar, solid basslines and drums in tight lockstep, all with Saša Rajković’s fascinating vocal signature alongside.

Beneath The Skin flexes the songwriting muscle and spirit of the duo’s aesthetic, inspired by an entirely set of circumstance and vocabulary. No matter what situation the duo finds themselves in, every song gets an individualized treatment while building a larger story. NeuGrau’s feel is a musical manifesto of the current society disease and socially regressive technology.

LP / Digital Album

Posted on June 6th, 2020 under Releases, ,

Antipole – Perspectives II

Perspectives is a series of remixes by a wide selection of contemporary Darkwave and Coldwave artists from around the world. Each artist has put their unique stamp and perspective on an Antipole track. Special thanks to all the bands involved, Paris Alexander, Eirene, Marc Lewis and to Pete at Kill Shelter for post-production and additional mastering.

Digital Album

Posted on June 5th, 2020 under Releases,

Tearful Moon ‎– Under The Red Veil

Tearful Moon is a project that started originally as a collaboration of spoken word by Sky Lesco and dark ambient music by Manuel Lozano. However, it has been developing gradually into a dark wave/synth wave band.

LP / Digital Album

Posted on June 4th, 2020 under Releases, ,

Convex Model – Quantity of Motion

Convex Model is the new project of Nick K. Maldoror (a.k.a. Nick Kapantzakis, one half of Human Puppets & Dislocation Genders, also member of Plexiglas). The sound landscapes of Convex Model are created by analogue equipment, instruments and plastic toys of any kind.

LP / Digital Album

Posted on June 3rd, 2020 under Releases, , ,