Album Reviews

The Soft Pink Truth – Is It Going To Get Any Deeper Than This?

(Thrill Jockey) UK release date: 21 October 2022

Revelling in enthusiastic and sensual explorations of the body, mind and soul, Matmos’s Drew Daniel returns with a scrumptious treat in which to indulge

The Soft Pink Truth - Is It Going To Get Any Deeper Than This? Patience is a virtue it appears Drew Daniel can live without. Subtlety also. The metaphors on the new record by The Soft Pink Truth come thick and fast. Repurposing a snarky proposition thrust upon a DJ acquaintance into a driving creative reason d’être, Is It Going To Get Any Deeper Than This? revels in ever more enthusiastic and sensual explorations of the body, mind and soul. Applying to the shimmering aesthetics of disco and house the unpredictable maximalist thrust of quick fire edits that are instantly familiar to fans of Daniel’s work as half of electronic duo Matmos, the album is a rapidly climaxing delight.

Pushing past its comfort zone from the offset into cavernous recesses of pleasure, it opens with the seductive 11-minute eroticisms of Deeper, a track rife with swirling hand claps, peeling bells and a puckish bass line so lascivious you can feel it wink as it slaps your backside and beckons you closer. Rapidly approaching a funk fulled peak before the album has had a chance to hit its stride, its silky suggestive nature welcomes you to the most private and charged of parties then asks you to leave your inhibitions, along with your coat, at the back door.

Hedonistic complexities are then questioned and championed on the intimidating La Joie Devant La Mort in which Xiu Xiu’s Jamie Stewart brings to mind the sullen lovelorn euphoria of Arthur Russell as he recants a text from erotic pioneer Georges Bataille with intimidatory glee, over increasingly stretched and stuttering drums. Only the second song in recent history written about the allure of a danger laced carnal rendezvous in moonlit arboreal locales sung in French that we can think of (the other being La Forêt by Lescop), it’s a slick tribute to the power of liberation and concealment so intricately woven in queer desire.

The album was preceded by the Was It Ever Real? EP in which Daniel covered The Anal Staircase by industrial favourites Coil, its lyrics filled with talk of angelic kisses and finding oneself wrecked in bliss. Those metaphors go beyond the threshold of comfort on the album. The whoosh of a popping cork, at the beginning of Moodswing, proceeds to unleash a fizzing elixir that sensually foams up and ejaculates into an eagerly clinking receptacle, triggering goosebumps on glistening flesh for the listener.

Joybreath is exactly that. A moment to inhale, to centre your core and adapt to the more meaningful and connective musical penetration. A world of new experience opens up and brings a tear to the eye. On Deeper Than This? And Toot Sweet, Daniel finds his second wind and builds up a pounding rhythm before closer Now That It’s All Over erupts in an orgy of celestial strings and sliding guitar. The album isn’t just fond of a bit of Greek, there’s also a strong Roman vibe with hints of original sin thrown in for good measure. Like low hanging fruit plucked fresh from the vine, the bacchanalian temptations Daniel and collaborators such as Angel Deradoorian, husband MC Schmidt and John Wiese offer are a scrumptious treat in which to indulge.

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