SPARKLE IN GREY & TEX LA HOMA – Whale Heart, Whale Heart

Grey Sparkle

Sparkle In Grey (Matteo Uggeri, Alberto Carozzi, Franz Krostopovic and Cristiano Lupo) open their half of this split 12-inch vinyl with a rather stirring piece – “These Nightmares Are Ending” – that makes great use of unusual field recordings whose nature is at once grainy and evocative, opening towards vaster lands as the frames succeed. Acoustic guitar, violin and (apparently) electric piano caress the listener’s spirit through an excellent minimalist episode of “cinema pour l’oreille” worthy of recurring visits. The subsequent “L’innocence Du Sommeil”, featuring Andrea Ferraris, is opened by German toddlers amiably chatting upon a vacillating suspension of strings and plucked melodies which may have a couple of points in common with Richard Skelton and Stars Of The Lid, yet is struck by completely different beams. A sense of melancholic estrangement defining another appealing scenario.

Britain’s Matt Shaw (Tex La Homa) responds with four linked tracks that share very little with SIG, starting with a “cheap tape” audio quality revealing a limited world of inadequate homespun intuitions. “Becoming” is the marriage of pseudo-romantic keyboards and a disturbing screaming voice which, heavily filtered, sounds like that of a seriously sick individual. We then shift to “Dorchester Sunrise”: poor on a compositional level and almost new age-ish, replete as it is with tiresomely consonant, repetitive synth washes. “To Home” – if this writer gets the right picture – features children at play together with the main character, with easily imaginable results. “Born On A Friday” is built on simplistic strumming shortly interrupted by music boxes and “enriched” by unremarkable vocals. If there’s irony in all this, it escaped yours truly. This is the perfect illustration of what the “everyone’s a musician” epidemic generates nowadays.

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