Soft Riot | Promo | March 2015Soft Riot is JJD; a former Vancouverite who has clocked in two decades of musical output in various bands and projects. Moving from Vancouver to London UK in the late 2000s, Soft Riot came into full being, having released a couple of acclaimed albums and EPs and staging numerous tours around Europe. Soft Riot now has set up camp for the time being in Sheffield, a small UK city with a history of innovative synthesizer music.

With origins from the mid-nineties in the vibrant art-punk/hardcore dominating the West Coast American/Canadian underground at the time (the first EP, No Longer Stranger, is the name of a track by hardcore band Universal Order of Armageddon), JJD followed a trajectory through to the revival of synth-based post-punk music just over a decade or so ago, which spawned a number of highly successful Canadian artists out of that scene.

Drawing inspiration from synthesizer-based film soundtracks of yesteryear, drones, early EBM, minimal synth, a dose of psychedelic synthpop and a heavy dose of throbbing appregiated rhythms, Soft Riot is a science-fiction heavy soundscape that narrates the listener through today’s fractured, excessive landscape with hints of black humour.

Soft Riot, coming from a more punk rock pedigree, often places more focus than the norm on his lyrical content, bringing in detailed pictures and sometimes even linear narrative storylines to subjects such as modern living, technology, surveillance, environment, overpopulation, enlightenment, life elsewhere, forewarning about catastrophic events, vain people in gyms, and not having enough time. The influences come less from other musical artists but more so from written fiction and film —a future predicted by fiction.

You Never Know What Might Come Next is the next document from Soft Riot on the horizon, to be released in spring/summer 2015 on the French label Exhibition and further develops and fine-tunes Soft Riot’s evolving minimal, atmospheric sound that started gaining momentum on the 2013 full-length, Fiction Prediction.

And in 2014 came Some More Terror, a recording consisting of 11 tracks of instrumental, ambient-influenced synth sounds that provided a slight detour from the more song-based, synth-pop trajectory presented on the two aforementioned albums.

Soft Riot has previously put out two other releases, the first being the No Longer Stranger EP on the Canadian label Panospria in early 2011. Featuring a more subdued and esoteric sound, this release attracted attention from various points around the globe with little promotion. This EP saw a re-release with a full vinyl treatment in January 2013, extended into an 8-track LP. This record contains a cover of “Electrolux” by Hoover; former Dischord Record artists from their 1994 debut (and only) album. The other release is 2012’s Another Drone In Your Head, a digital EP featuring remixes from a number of similarly minded artists.

When playing live JJD mans no less than three synthesizers, a microphone, an on-stage mixer, and a variety of outboard effects augmented by atmospheric on-stage lighting. Soft Riot has toured Europe numerous times, most recently France, Germany, Netherlands and Belgium as well as Moscow and a number of UK cities including London, Glasgow, Manchester and Birmingham. Stages have been shared with such peers as Keluar, Lebanon Hanover, Noi Kabát, Robert Görl of DAF and more.

Image manipulation by JJD Works.