Soft Zoo is the debut album by A Small Party Of Pressure (Justin Wiggan, Mark Vernon, Anders Gjerde, Hild Sofie Tafjord and Lois Laplace) out now on Birmingham’s First Fold Records in a limited edition of only 100 copies. They have been exchanging samples, sounds and partially completed compositions by mail and online over a period of four years defining and refining the unconscious thoughts that have resulted in the phonic map now called Soft Zoo. They still have never met in person.
Music by the zone for the zone…
“… Soft Zoo consists of 14 tracks that combine live instrumentation and field recordings to produce something resembling musique concrete or a soundtrack to a non-existent film. Pianos, xylophones, electronics, guitars, horns, bells and all manner of bric-a-brac mingle with the sounds of scratching, scraping, rustling, hair cutting, clock winding, growling and the air being let out of tires resulting in an aural mosaic that is provocative, moderately unsettling and, thankfully, never boring. There might be an intended narrative here but for maximum effect it would be best to rely on the trippy film being projected on the inside of your eyelids. ASPOP are not the first outfit to dabble in musical brain-movies and listening to Soft Zoo I’m occasionally reminded of long forgotten Godspeed side project Set Fire to Flames. A more apt comparison might be the constructivist collages of Joseph Cornell for each piece on Soft Zoo is like a box filled with ornaments, curiosities, memories and seemingly irrational juxtapositions from which emanate some enchanting spells”.
Karim Vickery, Halcyon.