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The Softest Touch

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Album Review

When a group has a name like Sons of Armageddon, one is inclined to expect something extreme — perhaps death metal/black metal, perhaps industrial rock, perhaps hardcore or metalcore. But Softest Touch is none of those things, and it isn't extreme — quirky and eccentric, but not extreme. Softest Touch is best described as an electronica disc that is mindful of jazz, funk, hip-hop and dub as well as world music. In terms of influences, Sons of Armageddon are all over the place. Bill Laswell is a strong influence, as is reggae instrumentalist Augustus Pablo — and Kirk Knuffke's trumpet solos show a strong awareness of jazz improvisers like Miles Davis, Eddie Henderson and Mark Isham. That isn't to say that Softest Touch is jazz per se, but jazz is definitely an influence on this 2004 release — which includes some sampled vocals but is essentially an instrumental CD. When a sampled vocal is incorporated into the mix, it is really an afterthought; Softest Touch is, without question, an instrumental project first and foremost. These days, electronica is moving in a variety of directions; electronica can be anything from the most harsh and abrasive techno to chillout and downtempo productions that are lush, smooth, dreamy and ethereal. But Softest Touch is neither abrasive nor silky; rather, Sons of Armageddon favor a spacy, mysterious, trippy sort of club vibe — they thrive on funky eccentricity, and it serves them well more often than not. This CD isn't perfect — some of the grooves hold up better than others — but overall, Softest Touch is a creative success and paints an attractive picture of Sons of Armageddon.

The Softest Touch, Sons of Armageddon
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  • $7.92
  • Genres: Electronic, Music
  • Released: Oct 26, 2004

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