Album Stream | Soft Riot, No.

Vancouver-bred, Glasgow-based veteran experimental mutant synth-pop creator Jack Duckworth  (a.k.a. JJD) releases his forthcoming tenth album No. (Possession Records/Wave Tension Records), scheduled to be released on August 11, 2023. The album was preceded by two incredible extended singles and videos that included remixes by Berlin-based electronic artist Oberst Panizza (Young & Cold Records), who has also played in post-punk groups Velvet Condom and List Noire, Dayton, Ohio’s Tim Krug of (halicon), who has also performed with Brainiac, Hexadiode, Oh Condor, and Human Reunion, and more.

With origins from the mid-nineties in the vibrant art-punk/hardcore dominating the West Coast American / Canadian underground at the time, Duckworth has clocked in over twenty-five years of musical output in various bands and projects, including first-wave post-punk revivalists Radio Berlin (1998-2005) and industrial synth-punk collective A Luna Red (Gold Standard Labs, 1999-2003).

No. is the logical follow-up to When Push Comes To Shove, released in November 2019 on the Glasgow UK-based label Possession Records, which saw some critical acclaim in the increasingly diverse synth-wave scene — a crystallization of the artist’s signature “SynthLord” sound.

With No. things have been shaken up and pushed into new directions. One key feature of these tracks is that under these conditions they were developed as individual pieces — a contrasting approach from previous albums where tracks were written with an album in mind. An evaluation of all of these individual tracks in the summer of 2022 unveiled a common pattern going through these new compositions.

One can still hear any number of echoes of the spirits of original synth artists in his sound, such as Images in Vogue, The Box, Section 25, Thomas Dolby, Skinny Puppy, Chrome, Cabaret Voltaire, Fad Gadget,  Japan and Bill Nelson. However, some of Jack’s halcyon punk influences surface as well, taking inspiration from legendary punk/hardcore labels such as Dischord and Gravity, as listening habits over pandemic steered back towards more guitar-based styles. The introduction of expanded production techniques, experiments with vocal styles and tones, and stylistic shifts mark a progression of Soft Riot’s sound. The result is a snarkier, urgent and more playful, with a focus on pure synthpop, new wave, art-punk, proto-EBM as well as grittier synth-punk and post-punk tones.

Listen to it here:

Soft Riot has toured Europe numerous times over the years, from Spain to Russia and many places in between, and a majority of cities in the UK. Stages have been shared with such peers as Absolute Body Control, Parade Ground, She Past Away, Selofan, Ausgang, Linea Aspera, Drab Majesty, Uncanny Valley,  Lebanon Hanover, Qual, Noi Kabát, Robert Görl of Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft and more.

Further touring is planned for 2023 in Europe and with North America in mind.

Photo courtesy of Soft Riot