Soulstorm – Form Cuts

5.10.22 by Jacob DeRaadt

Form Cuts, a single-sided C50 released late 2021 by Soulstorm, is the first release by this project of one Neal Samples, the head behind beloved Tollund Men, Universal Violent Action, Material Sequence (I wore out this tape in my truck in Maine), Xakatagawa, Blesse De Guerre, Broken Column, and a bunch of others. This project brings synth starched shoegaze post punk songs with laidback or driving dub rhythms, occluded vocals that seem to want to hide from the listener but must speak into the void. This tape comes complete with lyrics sheet and a Xerox art piece in simple B&W fashion included. Program repeats on both sides.

One of the instrumental songs, “Plague Omens,” reminded me of Dome with tape loops of instruments fading in and out of synchronization, those off kilter 15 second loops that throw you off the scent, as well as the feeling of loneliness and empty streets of lockdown. Is there a worship service going on in the room next to the recording of this song?  

There’s some good simple rhythms on this one that remind me of Human League sketches for Dare but with entirely different tools and intentions. Very strange mixing with big swooshes of loud noise overwhelming keyboard leads and drum machine, then parts where EQ is cut in and out of the mix on multiple channels at once. Sometimes, like on the song “Form Cuts,” the vocals give me the same feeling as Basic Channel demos with processing vocals toasting solidly below in the mix.

The tracks have a sequence that seems like a logical progression from abstract to concrete realities, however dubbed out they may be at moments. “Flower Scream” is almost a return to Tollund Men territories, sounding like a morbid version of a house-era Xymox with lyrics about hating your dead father and killing flowers, up my alley entirely. I wish I had gotten the other release of this project on AUTO-da-FÉ. Worth looking for on Discogs. 

No online samples. Buy it here.