* Edition of 250 * The arrival of Amirtha Kidambi and Lea Bertucci’s End of Softness finds us in a vastly different world, a mere six months after the release of their debut Phase Eclipse (2019). Working remotely in isolation, Bertucci and Kidambi engaged in a process of creative editing, lifting fragments from the Phase Eclipse sessions and a live performance, to re-contextualize the music amidst a pandemic. The crisis lends a new expression of agony to the torrential caterwauls of Kidambi’s voice, passed through Bertucci’s unforgiving God-play at the tape machine. With the blunt concision and brevity of punk songs, the tracks imply a sonic riot, instilling a subconscious urge to break the windows of your nearest financial institution.
Opening with soft cooing, “Siren Call” evokes the eerie soundscape of a vacant city, escalating into the incendiary “False Profits”, where Bertucci wrenches Kidambi’s tortured vocals into a mass of sound, replicating our constant media onslaught. The End of Softness could be the end of a false sense of comfort, security and stability, but its looping structures remind us of forces of creation and destruction in natural cycles. While we mourn our losses, it is also a suspended moment in time to reflect, reimagine and renew. Concluding with the circular rise-and-fall of Kidambi’s melodic breath, “Destroying Angel” signals the End of Softness, but perhaps the beginning of something more durable, sustainable and humane.