As Dante in his Inferno, Luis Vasquez, with his project Soft Moon, some years ago started a journey into the circles of a personal hell, going deeper into every aspect of human faults, exploring the despair coming out from them. Vasquez is interested in examining the evil inside to get free from his fears, aware that he can do it only sharing negativity.
All this explains the success of his powerful darkwave, a supreme mix of Soft Cell, Sisters Mercy and Nine Inch Nails. If Zeroes (2012) was characterized by fast and obscure instrumental rides and Deeper (2015) was a breathtaking collection of dark songs, with dynamic sequencers and pop outcomes, the new album Criminal (out for Sacred Bones and produced between Berlin and Maurizio Baggio’s studies in Italy) keeps maintains the aesthetics of his post-punk, focusing on more oppressive flows of laments.
The first song, “Burn”, is a synth-hammer full of tension, essential in its bass line and the obsessive drumming; “Choke” shows Vasquez’s love for Trent Reznor, but more circular lines and noisy vibes; “It Kills” starts with a guitar taken from Sisters of Mercy, with an explosion of electronic layers; “Born into this” is an industrial nightmare in 4/4, in which bass line and drumming create an insurmountable wall of sound.
More obscure and less catchy than Deeper, Criminal offers a reflection on personal tragedies without the need for dark club anthems; the result is a series of circular patterns in which the voice is a mantra. Dark music for dark people: Vasquez plays his sound to survive, we can listen to it for the same purpose. Long life to this project.