Of the reviews that have popped up so far for The Outsider in the Mirrors, the latest full-length release from Glasgow-based darkwave solo project Soft Riot, none are quite as awkward as a YouTube clip from a bespectacled, “self-employed electrician, TV repairman, and part-time paranormal researcher” named Bob Hatchett. After explaining to the camera that he lives next door to Soft Riot synth-manipulator Jack Duckworth, Hatchett admits that he hasn’t actually heard his neighbour’s new record, but deadpans that he can often hear Jack practicing through the walls of his workshop— He adds, self-aware, that these same sounds will soon be added to the very video you’re watching. Instead, he gives his impressions of the on-the-nose album art, which features Duckworth’s face framed in a mirror. “I think he looks a bit sad, don’t you? Or maybe thinking about something very deep, or important,” the reviewer notes dryly, adding of the introspective nature of it all, “Heavy stuff!”
Thing is, Hatchett looks suspiciously like Duckworth, as well as Derek Laser, a wry evening newsman who occasionally pops up in Soft Riot videos. Over a Skype call with ION, Duckworth explains that while he’s busily self-promoting his third LP, issued through the Possession Records imprint he recently started with a couple of friends, he’s the first to poke fun at his own artistic ambitions.