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The Soft Pink Truth

Idioma disponible: inglés
In between his busy careers as an academic, writer, and half of the inventive electronic duo Matmos, Drew Daniel showcases his nimble production skills and taps into the transformative power of dance music as the Soft Pink Truth. With each album, the project's focus shifted nearly as much as Matmos' music did. On 2003's debut album Do You Party?, Daniel drew on funk, disco, '80s R&B, and composer Erik Satie for its booty-shaking allure, but on 2004's Do You Want New Wave or Do You Want the Soft Pink Truth?, he turned vintage punk and hardcore songs into house anthems that felt even more subversive than the original versions. Daniel explored similar territory on 2014's Why Do the Heathen Rage?, which reconciled his love for the genre with the hateful politics of some of its artists in its sleekly danceable rhythms. Later, the transcendent fusion of R&B and post-classical music of 2020's Shall We Go On Sinning So That Grace May Increase? and the sensual, ambient-tinged disco of 2022's Is It Going to Get Any Deeper Than This? offered joyous reprieves from the era's political and social conflict. The Soft Pink Truth began when Matthew Herbert challenged Daniel, who was performing in Paris with Matmos, to make a house record. Daniel responded with 2001's Soft Pink Missy 12", which Herbert released on his Soundslike label. The second 12", "Promofunk," came in late 2002 and included a delirious, infectious update of Vanity 6's "Make Up" (featuring vocals from Blevin Blectum), and "Gender Studies," a dancefloor-bound clinic in sample stitching. January 2003 saw the release of the full-length Do You Party?, which collected the eight tracks from the previous releases and added three additional tracks. The "Acting Crazy" 12" arrived later that year and featured "Do You Party?" remixes from Herbert, Safety Scissors, and Brooks along with the new title track. For October 2004's Do You Want New Wave or Do You Want the Soft Pink Truth?, Daniel expanded on his flair for radical reinvention by transforming the songs of '70s and '80s punk and hardcore acts including Crass, Minor Threat, and Die Kreuzen into sleek, club-oriented tracks. In the years that followed the release of Do You Want New Wave or Do You Want the Soft Pink Truth?, Daniel relocated from San Francisco to Baltimore, worked with Matmos, and became an academic. Though he continued to perform as the Soft Pink Truth when he could, his busy schedule meant that the project's recorded work was limited. For the better part of a decade, remixes for artists ranging from Otto Von Schirach, Björk, and Grizzly Bear made up the bulk of Daniel's output as the Soft Pink Truth. It wasn't until June 2014 that he returned with the project's third full-length album, Why Do the Heathen Rage?. Recorded in Daniel's home studio and released by Thrill Jockey, the album gave the Soft Pink Truth treatment to black metal and included collaborations with Locrian's Terence Hannum, Wye Oak's Jenn Wasner, Anohni, and Horse Lords' Owen Gardner as well as Daniel's partner, Matmos' M.C. Schmidt. The following year, Daniel self-released Why Pay More?, a collection whose title track was commissioned for a 2009 performance and included unreleased tracks from the Soft Pink Truth's previous albums. The demands of Matmos and academia led Daniel to take another lengthy break from the Soft Pink Truth, but the project resurfaced in 2020 with a pair of complementary albums. That May, Thrill Jockey issued Shall We Go On Sinning So That Grace May Increase?, which took the project in a very different direction that ranged from deep house music to post-classical pieces. A response to the fraught political and social climate of the late 2010s and early 2020s, it combined choral vocals courtesy of Colin Self, Angel Deradoorian, and Jana Hunter, as well as contributions from percussionist Sarah Hennies, saxophonists Andrew Bernstein and John Berndt, and piano performances by Schmidt and Koye Berry. A few weeks later, Daniel self-released Am I Free to Go?, a collection of songs originally by crust-punk artists such as Discharge and Doom. The profits from the album were donated to the International Anti-Fascist Legal Defence Fund. Daniel returned to Matmos with that August's ambitious, three-hour collaborative album The Consuming Flame: Open Exercises in Group Form and May 2022's Regards / Ukłony dla Bogusław Schaeffer, a tribute to Polish composer, theoretician, critic, and playwright Bogusław Schaeffer that combined samples of his music with live instrumentation. Three months later, the mini-album Was It Ever Real? introduced a new Soft Pink Truth era with a cover of Coil's "The Anal Staircase" and a mix of the title track from October 2022 full-length Is It Going to Get Any Deeper Than This? Continuing the ecstatic, expansive mood of Shall We Go On Sinning, the album touched on disco, jazz, house, and ambient, while Daniel's creative foils for the project included Wasner.
© Heather Phares & Andy Kellman /TiVo
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