It's easy to overthink Giant Claw, a plunderphonic puzzle-maze of discombobulated R&B, electronic detritus and glitched euphoria. In recent years, Keith Rankin's synth-and-MIDI-controlled music has sounded like a wall of browser tabs open to disparate YouTube clips — it isn't confrontational to these ears, but a series of sinuous, fiber-optic tissues between us and a digital world.
If 2014's brilliant DARK WEB sounded like Giant Claw's delirious deconstruction of pop, then Soft Channel is mecha-chamber music, biomorphic compositions covered in steel, but made with a beating heart... you know, like RoboCop.
Sabrina Ratté, an artist who visually complements Rankin's digital vistas, interprets "Soft Channel 006" as hallways and windows vibrating and shapeshifting to Giant Claw's warped time signatures.The track ping-pongs pizzicato MIDI strings against bursts of cracked noise and keys. But where Rankin would fill every space with erratic sound in the past, here he makes space in the aftermath of digital tension for silence, a moment to reposition our senses.
Soft Channel is out now via Orange Milk.