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Soiled – Mindnumb

Soiled - Mindnumb

EP CD-R, Elm Lodge Records, 2004

The EP “Mindbumb” is the third release by individualist UK artist, Marcus H on his home label Elm Lodge Records. Overall, and despite the short duration, “Mindnumb” is an interesting and pleasant (but very short) listening experience.
Soiled’s music is simple but interesting nevertheless: a lo-fi blend of looped percussion, distorted sampling and of oscillator manipulation producing droning sounds or repetitive downtempo rhythmic structures. Interestingly, the oscillator rhythms give the music an almost melodic touch, as the loops seem to go through simple and subtle intensity variation, on occasion setting the mood of a song or simply complementing the percussion.
With a playtime of slightly over a quarter of an hour and featuring seven tracks, “Mindnumb” feels very much like a notepad or a sketch-book: a place where ideas and concepts for future works are hastily jotted down for future reference. And there are quite a few interesting ideas and concepts here that are worthy of further development. However, considering the description of Marcus H’s approach to creating his music (record and release immediately), there is a chance that the note-book character is intentional. In which case, the listener will have to be satisfied with the couple of more ‘complete’ pieces, of which “Mind Numb” and “Geoff vrs….” are perhaps the best examples.
There might be a tendency in a certain kind of ‘punkish lo-fi free-electro’ music to create short music pieces, whether due to real artistic vision, trend factors or simple lazyness. In some of those cases there are pieces that are most worthy of expansion. Soiled’s “Mindnumb” is definitely one of those cases and one can only hope that the author won’t allow his ideas to remain as ’embrio-entities’.


— Miguel de Sousa

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