Contributions, Nominations and Reconstructions : Some June News

7 June 2020
Fred "Freak" Smith
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Donations to UK BLM

Around three months into the “new normal” of the 2020 coronavirus pandemic and we’re seeing some seismic shifts happen around the world, including upheavals in the United States that were a long time coming with unrest and retaliation happening not only in US cities but across the world. Last week BandCamp again waived its fees for all sales of music and merchandise on their site, all proceeds of Soft Riot and Possession Records music and merch sales were donated to Black Lives Matter UK. Like many I’ve been thinking and reading a lot about this as the situation unfolds and hoping it’s a transition to moving forward. I’ve included a photo of Fred “Freak” Smith, an amazing Washington DC punk/hardcore guitarist who was killed under mysterious circumstances in 2017, likely due to the ongoing systematic violence that has been continuing for far too long.

The Sixteenth NEXT Current Post-Punk Bands You Should Know About

Soft Riot has unexpectedly been included in this article by the US music press website, Stereo Embers, in their list of upcoming post-punk bands. This series of articles has been going on for a number of years now so it was a strange feeling to find myself in it!

“… A powerfully propulsive sound profile that kicks around twinges of synthy EBM, hints of dark house, and twitches of industrial soundtrack inside a post-punky framework. Having upped sticks in the the wake of RB’s [Radio Berlin] collapse and landed in Glasgow, JJD hasn’t only not looked back but seems one of those rare artists that can only survive if he’s plugged into an ever-evolving future.”

The Sixteenth NEXT Current Post-Punk Bands You Should Know About - Stereo Embers Magazine Stereo Embers Magazine
The Sixteenth NEXT Current Post-Punk Bands You Should Know About – Stereo Embers Magazine Stereo Embers MagazineThis is a time, isn’t it? The level of damage and death being met too often by the perfidy of the political class, the yawning gulf of societal iniquities again being thrust into the spotlight* as it – no surprise – grows deeper and wider (while of course corporations get…oh, why bother even saying it?), the lockdown stay-at-home quarantine psychosis unmasking in even sharper relief the level of radical idiocy infecting this – and pretty much every – country, it seems to me that referring to this massive upheaval as merely a ‘crisis’ as is so often the case is only acceptable if it’s universally understood that the word ‘existential’ is implicitly set in front of it. And while those of us here in the worldwide darkwave community could well be expected to kind of adopt this event in a way that would more or less amount to a nihilistic ‘We told you so,’ what has impressed me over the past two plus months has been the level of outreach, compassion, and just outright love that has flooded the scene. We are by nature reclusive in many ways, viewing the wider world with, at the very least, a hard-earned skepticism….

An Improved Viewing Experience

Over the last couple of months I’ve been doing a lot of work creating live/studio performances upon the request of a number of promoters and festivals that have taken their productions online, including Gothicat, Gothic Pogo and Moonfrog TV. The VIDEO section of the site has been split in two with a better interface in which to view those: OFFICIAL VIDEO for official promo videos and music videos and LIVE VIDEO for live/studio performances. More videos to be added as they come. If you’ve got a bit of time feel free to check them out!