25 June 2013
Soft Riot is Jack Duckworth, a former Vancouverite now living in London who traces his musical beginnings to the vibrant underground art-punk/hardcore scene emergent across the Canadian and American west coasts in the mid-90s. Duckworth was among the fixtures in that community’s northern outpost before helping to consolidate the early outpourings of a larger pre-“synth/new-wave” revival with his band Radio Berlin alongside others like Black Mountain, Wolf Parade, Frog Eyes, etc, though his output has shifted at least a few degrees from that older sound. His move to London is at the heart of his ongoing personal maintenance; the new atmosphere and cultural dynamic giving fuel to Soft Riot, previously just a concept.
Fiction Prediction collects Duckworth’s latest material, recorded after the songs that populated his previous album/EP, No Longer Stranger (originally released on Panospria, the EP was expanded and released as an LP by Volar Records). A heavy dose of throbbing arpeggiated synths coupled with Duckworth’s ongoing romp through the annals of sci-fi film history keeps the album well grounded, minimal synths describing the parameters of his psychedelic soundscapes. Coming from a punk rock pedigree Duckworth brings an unusual focus on lyrical content to his music. In evocative detail, Duckworth builds images through song as he explores a range of disparate themes; modern living and overpopulation, technology and enlightenment, state surveillance and prognostication. These influences come less from other artists, and more from written fiction and cinema — a future predicted by fiction!