|Soft As Snow — Deep Wave (April 6, 2018)|
Soft As Snow — Deep Wave (April 6, 2018) ♣¤★√ Norwegian duo Soft as Snow makes experimental pop for the interplanetary set, echoing the sounds of minimal wave and early Warp releases. Their approach to music making is hands~on; avoiding laptops in favour of analogue synths, drum machines and samplers, mixed with idiosyncratic vocals and heavily processed guitars.
Location: London, UK
Album release: April 6, 2018
Record Label: Houndstooth
01. Black Egg 5:03
02. Snake 3:54
03. Drip 3:20
04. Deep Wave 5:01
05. X 0:51
06. Tropical Speed 3:29
07. Be My Babe 0:39
08. Pink Rushes 3:32
09. Dry 3:13
10. XX 1:08
11. Sleep/Slip 4:23
12. Låssbyn 3:58
13. Mass 5:59
√ Oda Egjar Starheim
√ Øystein Monsen
Words by Chris Watkeys, 2 APR 2018; Score: 8/10
√ Norway: land of the midnight sun, an enviable social system, and — increasingly recently — some superb music. Soft As Snow are a London~based Norewgian duo whose EP ‘Glass Body’, four years back, announced them as artists with an inventively twisted take on dream pop. ‘Black Egg’ is the hypnotic opening to their debut album; a scene setter for the uneasy, coldly distant atmosphere that pervades this album. The vocals, where there are any, are often muffled, buried or distorted under music that is by turns brutal, grinding, relentless and sometimes just plain weird.
√ The title track sounds like late~eighties Madonna fed through a wormhole in space; the song comes at you from a distance, transmitted from the ether rather than merely emerging from your speakers. ‘Tropical Speed’ meanwhile has all the clanging, breakneck energy of a Prodigy track hacked to bits in an industrial grinder. Rest assured that if the machines finally take over and wage an apocalyptic war on mankind, this vicious cacophony will be their soundtrack.
√ ‘Sleep / Slip’, ironically, sounds a lot like insomnia feels — the slightly fevered waking dreams of a disturbed mind. There is, however, the odd moment of melodic beauty amongst this dark storm; beautiful, defiant vocals that sound like a battle cry.
√ ‘Deep Wave’ is an album that oscillates wildly between menace and beauty. This is not cerebral music. It’s visceral and wonderfully dystopian. It needs to be played very loudly, and perhaps in a darkened room. This is music that bypasses thought, and connects directly with your gut. √ https://www.loudandquiet.com/
° “Their music has an inner strength that curls and coils skyward, shooting lasers into infinity” — The FADER
° “Wild, impressionistic electronic music that splits the difference between Purity Ring’s exquisite beat~driven pop songs and The Knife’s brain~blasting experiments” Stereogum
° “Soft as Snow will gladly slot their atmospheric, expansive synthpop right next to the bleeding edge of dance music. It’s a mutually beneficial relationship” — Tiny Mix Tapes
° “Listening can be a mesmerizing experience, showcasing an idiosyncratic brand of euphoric pop that meshes a pervasive air of the uncanny” — Dummy
° “Raining down a storm of analog synths, esoteric drum machines and strange samples. Ecstatic, electro-visceral productions” — Impose
° “Psych~out pop” — Dazed
° The Norwegian~born, Berlin~based duo Soft as Snow will release their debut album ‘Deep Wave’ on April 6th.
° It was created by Soft as Snow members Oda Egjar Starheim and Øystein Monsen, with additional mixing and production by WIFE of Tri Angle Records.
° Their oblique leftfield pop recalls Cabaret Voltaire, Throbbing Gristle, deep Detroit techno, 90s IDM, Fever Ray, cold wave and the ‘Mutazione’ compilations, but is simultaneously fresh, original and groundbreaking, crowned with Oda’s esoteric and otherworldly voice. ‘Deep Wave’ follows two EPs — and as with those, the duo still avoid laptops, preferring analogue machinery, samplers, live drums and processed guitars - but this album marks a creative development, with their sound now deeper, more detailed and less simplistic than before.
° Soft as Snow’s singular sound can in part be attributed to Oda’s background in performance art, (which brings a raw intuitive approach to vocals) and to Øystein’s drumming for various noise rock bands in Oslo’s underground scene (which explains their abrasive, rhythmic energy).
° “We kept a lot of the first takes. There’s something with that first immediate energy that’s really essential and hard to recreate later on. It’s more important for us that the vocals have the right energy and feeling for the song, than being recorded properly and having to refine the lyrics”, says the duo.
° Soft as Snow are two people making music with little acknowledgement for conventions of the outside world and ‘Deep Wave’ gives a peek into the sound-environment they’ve created. It’s genuinely original music, governed by its own unconventional logic, language and creatively free sense of play that’s simultaneously childlike, fun, harrowing, angular and dark.
|Soft As Snow — Deep Wave (April 6, 2018)|