With an experimental record, it’s usually best to consume it from beginning to end, gorging yourself on the mechanics of the artist’s mind that being fed to you with each track. Although with Giant Claw’s upcoming LP Soft Channel, the first single “Soft Channel 007” works as a perfect appetizer, substantial in its own right while being mindful to leave enough room for what’s to come. Playing off of vocal samples and an array of sounds, Keith Rankin delivers something that refuses to be seen as some type of musical exercise and implements a structure that is, in a way, no different than anything else you happen to be listening to. Coming off a strong opening, the track only builds from there, adding more and more nuances and then manipulating the way in which they are executed. Ranging from clinking piano to synthesized strings and Atari bits, “Soft Channel 007” still manages to work as a puzzle despite the relative accessibility of the song.
The track begins with a crawling landscape of sound, this bubbling haze that rises over the severed vocal samples. The synths shine bright and pop in contained explosions of ambiance along with what sounds like field recordings of various machinery, adding layers of depth to the track. It continues much in this same way, the sounds and pitches being changed slightly as the structure balloons outward, the vocals ranging from intelligible speech to bubble gum pop without any warning. The highlight comes when Rankin begins to use the same sounds and splices them into a rapid series of taps, starting with a light footstep rhythm before breaking out into a full sprint. And it only builds from there along “Soft Channel 007”, crescendoing towards the unsettling haze that closes the track.
Soft Channel is due out 09/08 from Orange Milk Records and is available for pre-order here.