While we’re visiting the UK, since we’ve already seen the ambient side, let us now visit the other end of the spectrum; pure chaotic noise.
We have now the self-titled 5-track digital EP from UK duo, Soft Issues. Not much is known about this duo at least that I can find. But that in effect makes for a more interesting review, the focus becoming the work only and without the context.
Track 1, “BDC” wastes no time diving right into the mayhem. Guided by a steady series of digital percussion hits you have blasts of cut up harsh noise as well as the virtually inaudible distorted vocals. Track 2, “Radiator Plant,” begins as a cyber-driven harsh noise assault again with the crazy screaming vocals. With everything piled on top of one another, it becomes an all-out sonic assault that comes and goes in the span of less than 2 minutes. Track 3, “The Thrill Of Seeing Your Friends Fail” is mostly a mid/low frequency multi-layered drone with some soft-spoken vocals – the complete polar opposite to the first two tracks. Back to the chaos with track 4, “Degloving” with some machine-gun style harsh noise and similar vocals to the earlier tracks. One thing of note that this duo does pretty well; they use harsh walls/cut-ups/layers but then can drop them off in a second. That dynamic creates a bit of a unique effect with mostly just the vocals still going.
Then all Hell breaks loose for a short time with the final track, “Hetchell” but then moves to some death/industrial sounding background with some repeated synth notes over the top. About the mid-point of the track, the vocals appear in such a manner that leaves one to consider the individual might be drowning in the noise waves. The harsh noise waves eventually rise and submerge the synth strikes ending on a note that would make Merzbow proud.
If Soft Issues is an example of what the UK is offering in terms of noise exports, then we should look for a unique approach blending the likes of noise, death industrial, dark ambient and so on.
This is a Name Your Own Price digital release at this point but tapes are coming soon through Concrete Block Records. If you are into noise artists like Torturing Nurse who involve chaotic vocals with the noise, you’ll likely be interested to see what this mysterious UK duo has to offer.