This past week a new Glasgow-based label called Possession Records announced its existence. It is a new endeavour that I am starting with members of other Glasgow groups Hausfrau, Kaspar Hauser and Ubre Blanca. It is a co-operative affair and a new direction that’s being taken for future releases for all bands involved, including a new Soft Riot album in the works for 2017. Not only will the label be handling artist releases but also organising and promoting music events in Glasgow in the near future — “Processed and prefabricated music out of Glasgow.”
The title of the article is a bit heavy-handed but I suppose this is a selection of 10 albums that have a place in my history of writing and listening to music. Thanks to Didier at Belgium’s Peek-A-Boo-Magazine for getting in touch with me to ramble on about this group of records. Albums by Unwound, The VSS, Simple Minds, DAF, Second Layer, Adult., Fad Gadget, Martin Dupont, Labradford and U.S. Maple. You can click the link at the end of the end of the excerpt to read the full article at www.peek-a-boo-magazine.be
1. UNWOUND – New Plastic Ideas
When I started actively getting into music and playing in bands, I was in my teens and I was very immersed in the underground experimental punk and hardcore that was happening in the US and Canada at the time. I was always checking out new releases on labels like Kill Rock Stars, 31G, Gravity, Ebullition, Lovitt, Troubleman, Great American Steak Religion, Touch and Go and the list goes on. Over the years, some of those records haven’t aged with me, but there’s a significant portion of records from that era that I’ll come back to from time to time and listen to and I still get that goosebumps feeling as to when I first listened to it.
Unwound put out a string of records from the early to late 90s that were incredible. They were very aggressive and dissonant but still having some atmosphere, interesting song structures and an appeal to misanthropic youth in a 1990’s North America. There was a great chemistry between guitarist/vocalist Justin Trosper, bassist Vern Ramsey and drummer Sarah Lund. The album Repetition (1996) is arguably my favourite, but New Plastic Ideas was the first I listened to and got me hooked. In fact, the title of the Soft Riot album Fiction Prediction is a bit of a wordplay of a title of a song of this album as a bit of an homage, I guess.
Here is a new interview conducted with Electronic North, a new UK music site based out of Manchester featuring artists in the northern parts of the UK. Thanks to Adrian Thompson who gave the opportunity to provide answers to a number of questions…
Residing in Glasgow via Sheffield, London and Vancouver, Soft Riot is an artist who’s been rocking the synths for the best part of 20 years across various bands and projects. He describes his current output as ‘art punk synth disco’ and you should absolutely be checking it out. We caught up with JJD for a chat as part of our Featured Artist series.
Tell us a little bit about yourself. What’s the story behind Soft Riot and how would you describe your sound?
My name is JJD (Jack Duckworth) and I’m a Vancouverite currently residing in Glasgow after spending some time in London and a little bit in Sheffield. I moved to the UK almost 10 years ago from Canada. I’ve been playing in bands for the better part of 20 years, probably the one I’m known most for back in the homeland would be the “new wave” band Radio Berlin.
Soft Riot started very, very slowly in 2006 when I was still in Vancouver. I was playing in other bands at the time and I was using Soft Riot as a vehicle to try out ideas with electronic music that didn’t suit a band format, mainly as the music was too minimal and too specific the in musical detail that I had in mind that would have made it difficult working in a collaboration. I barely did anything with it until early 2011, a few years after I moved to the UK when I released an initial EP, “No Longer Stranger”. I started performing live with Soft Riot in mid-2011 in London.
Germany meets Canada! Soft Riot has recorded a version of the Canadian classic “Lovers In A Dangerous Time” for an exclusive release on the Young & Cold IV Festival Compilation, out now on Young & Cold Records based out of Augsburg, Germany.
The song was originally written and recorded by Canadian songwriter Bruce Cockburn on his 1984 album Stealing Fire.
The compilation itself features a great collection of tracks from synth/wave and post-punk artists around Europe including Alles, Nao Katafuchi, Totenwald, Ben Bloodygrave, Zwarte Poëzie and more as well as core artists on the label such as Nacht Analyze, Paradox Sequenz, Adam Uzi and Endlose Emotion.
You can stream the track below and if you’re keen to find out more and purchase the compilation, check out Young & Cold Records and drop them a line.
It’s time to revive this on-and-off section of the website again. At this point it seems like I have a massive backlog of oddball films that I’d like to post in this section. It’s mainly finding the time in my crazy schedule to do so!
Anyway, without any further delay this entry is about a cult horror film from the early 70s called Let’s Scare Jessica To Death. It’s somewhat well known amongst cinephiles but it’s only recently that I’ve seen it. Much like another favourite film of mine, The Shout, it is a horror of the classic, supernatural vein that uses very little special effects and is more about the atmosphere and empty spaces that allow your mind to ponder the unknown, rather than constantly going at you with shock, gore and awe to provide the entertainment. Also, in both films the soundtrack and sound design is equally as important to the film as the visual footage. READ MORE