Review: Soft Tissue – S/T

PENULTIMATE PRESS.

The sounds are scuttled and scrunched. Kid-friendly keyboards cluster into high-pitched chords, running like teardrop rivers amidst the tickles and taps of insect legs or twisted tape. This is a collaboration negotiated through the very tips of fingertips and caffeine twitches of its players, Feronia Wennborg and Simon Weins; miniature movements that nudge out a microphone plosive or incite a little puddle-shimmer of toy synthesiser. Silences offer slithers of margin between each flurry of activity, like the pivot between inbreath and outbreath, or the flashes of black that pepper a bout of restless TV channel-hopping. It scurries and stops. Then scurries again. It’s a playful binary in which even the stillness seems to fidget, like a rodent nose snuffling after it stops and schemes as to where to scamper next.

And so I’m teased by the delightful textures on this record, which vanish under the skirting board before I can properly examine them. Repeat listens reveal shrill feedback, microbial chatter, bubbles in syrup, synths like crushed microscope slides…tiny tableaus of tangled wires, entomological blotch and domestic trinket. The quivering keyboard harmonies “play” sound like a romance between two ink blotches. “window” sounds like a sparse improvisation for rusted hotel reception bells, as performed by a duo making an aptly bright and brittle plea for attention. Soft Tissue flick my earlobes to check that I’m listening, returning me constantly to a bristling and delightful high-alert.