Giant Claw is the sound project of visual artist and Orange Milk Records co-founder Keith Rankin. His new album Soft Channel builds on the intricate MIDI notation and sampling of previous works “Deep Thoughts” and “Dark Web”, while blending dense high fidelity sound design with rich harmonic material to create a fully immersive composition.
I believe every piece of art inherently relays an intricate worldview, and it has been my goal to confidently harness my available compositional tools to reflect and understand my own values as they’re expressed through sound.
In previous work I used a collage of established musical tropes to highlight the extent to which culture shapes value systems, or to confront the illusion of pure authorship. Soft Channel partly continues that macro view of music as subtext, while also focusing on more personal themes of tension, contradiction, and interruption.
Through highly arranged micro sampling and virtual instrument sound design I tried to create a landscape that shifted between recognizable popular or classical music forms and aleatoric-sounding structures typically created in generative software environments. These sound worlds were paired against an additional orchestral palette to create a sense of simultaneous comfort and unease. When taken as a whole, I wanted Soft Channel to feel like a pulsating or breathing composition, with bursts of sound continuously interrupted by moments of stark quiet or silence.
It’s my hope that the various contrasts at the center of the work are relatable through multiple disciplines in modern music while also representing the natural shift of emotion that many feel on a daily micro scale. Accordingly, the title Soft Channel borrows the tech and military use of the word “soft” to describe a vulnerable or human-centered target or piece of technology.