Soft Grid – Corolla | (ANTIME 018 – out October 14 on limited coloured vinyl and digitally)
With their debut LP ’Corolla’ for ANTIME, the Berlin-based trio Soft Grid captures the explosive energy of its celebrated live shows. Soft Grid was started in 2014 in an abandoned hospital ward by Jana Sotzko (of The Dropout Patrol) and Theresa Stroetges (alias :: golden diskó ship), who had previously been working together in the improvisation project Epiphany NOW. After their spontaneously composed and recorded tape release ’Stingrays’ was issued through Berlin’s Twaague Records in the summer of 2015, the British drummer and producer Sam Slater was recruited more or less directly from a Berlin danceoor to join the band for live shows. He became a full member in no time. Since then, the three-piece has shared stages around Germany alongside such diverse acts as Des Ark, Milemarker, MESSER, or even TOLOUSE LOW TRAX, and will head out for a tour in support of ’Corolla’ to coincide with the record’s release in mid October.
’Corolla’ is as much of an improvisational effort as their live shows: not really. Just like their gigs – which have all members wandering around to take over duties on synthesizers, bass, guitar, viola, and microphones – ’Corolla’ is a carefully mapped out, compositional whole, recorded live over two days in Salon Berlin by Sylvain Livache. It showcases the trio’s taste for ventures into the realms of extreme acoustic sounds and electronic textures as well as their knack for catchy hooks and driving rhythms. Even amidst the heaviest synth breakdowns, there’s something joyful to cling to. Soft Grid make music that is continuously twisting and shifting, which immerses itself in the steady flow of sonic events without losing focus. Anything goes on ’Corolla’, and when it does, the three head in exactly the same direction.
From the massive opening chords of »Herzog On A Bus« to the subtle Chicago-style Post-Rock inuences on »Hospital Floor« and the erratic finale which is the title track, Soft Grid create a musical narrative throughout their debut LP which reflects its lyrical themes. While the lyrics of ’Corolla’, themselves a collaborative effort, sample everything from a Werner Herzog documentary to the eerie atmosphere of that hospital ward where the band was born, there is at least one leitmotiv which ties them together: Soft Grid are first and foremost concerned with moving forward. And they will. (Text by ANTIME)