A few months ago one of you requested I post some Cindytalk, considering transgender is all the rage these days today's post is set...
Today's artist was rumoured to have been invited to join Duran Duran after he dissolved his Edinburgh glam-punk band The Freeze in the late ’70s. He turned them down. Elizabeth Fraser and Robin Guthrie also put out the request for him to join the Cocteau Twins. After a brief stint accompanying the Cocteau Twins for a Peel Session in 1982 and a guest spot on This Mortal Coil’s It’ll End In Tears, he opted for his own project — the obscure, yet majestic Cindytalk.A desire to create "a pure music" has been the ultimate aim. Many changes through the years bring us now into dual worlds of improvisation and computer composition Alien landscapes. Desolate spaces.Inner truths.Ornette Coleman’s words, “I play pure emotion” always at the core of this fluid being. .... ....N'Joy
xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx
“….At the helm of Cindytalk is transgendered vocalist Gordon Sharp, who to this day is probably still best known as one of the multitude of vocalists who appeared in This Mortal Coil. In many ways, Sharp is the masculine equal to the Cocteau Twins’ Liz Fraser in delivering expressionist falsettos, trills, and banshee wails in an eerie, yet heavenly fashion. He’s one of those few vocalists who can make the lyrics embody their content by shaping the words into emotionally charged sound. In fact, Sharp and Fraser had come together for a duet back during the Cocteau Twins’ Peel Sessions of 1983. In his 4AD lineage, Gordon Sharp’s first band was the criminally overlooked punk-glam ensemble The Freeze, where his Marc Bolan strut matched the nightmarish lyrics on top of some truly fantastic Bowie / Buzzcocks sparkplug riffs. Sharp, alongside fellow Freeze band members John Byrne and David Clancy, found shortcomings in the glam punk agenda, and sought a wholly new direction that became Cindytalk. While undeniably dark and theatrical, Cindytalk cannot be pigeonholed as an ’80s goth band, even in comparison to such off- kilter groups like The Virgin Prunes, Princess Tinymeat, or Sex Gang Children.
Their debut album, Camouflage Heart, was released in 1982, and combined Sharp’s heart-rending, gothic-hued vocals with distressed industrial noise. Following his collaboration with Cocteau Twins on a Peel session, Sharp was invited by 4AD’s Ivo Watts-Russell to contribute to his star-studded dream-pop project, This Mortal Coil; he appeared on TMC’s debut EP Sixteen Days/Gathering Dust (1983) and album It’ll End In Tears (1984).
Clancy left the group shortly after the release of Camouflage Heart, replaced with sibling multi-instrumentalists Alex and Debbie Wright. The work of this trio leaned more towards ambient music, with piano rather than Sharp’s voice taking centre-stage on 1988’s In This World. During this period Cindytalk had also begun working in tandem with performance artist and film maker Ivan Unwin, providing sound for some of his short pieces. This led Cindytalk to scoring Unwin's "Eclipse: An Amateur Enthusiasts Guide to Virus Deployment", the record of which was released on Midnight Music in 1990 under the title The Wind Is Strong..., the album, following on from the second of the In This World albums, was based on piano improvisations and abstract/concrete experiments.
At the time Sharp described it as "Ambi-dustrial" fusing his love of the early ambient releases on the EG label with the above-mentioned European Industrial music. Sharp was joined on this release by Ivan Unwin and long standing co-producer/engineer David Ros who then became a more active member of the band. Matt Kinnison and drummer/percussionist Paul Middleton also provided sounds and ideas to this mix. Secrets And Falling, a 4-track e.p. culled from the Wappinschaw sessions was released in 1991. At this point the band had become more of a collective, drawing on musicians from the current line-up as well as the past, John Byrne returned and was joined by Kevin Rich and Darryl Moore (Soul Static Sound).
Midnight Music folded in 1992 and prevented the recently finished album Wappinschaw from being released until 1995 (on Sharp's own label Touched, distributed through World Serpent). Wappinschaw features a collaboration with Scottish artist and writer Alasdair Gray, who reads from his novel "Lanark" (Wheesht). By 1993, Cindytalk had gone through more changes and was preparing to play live for the first time. Sharp, Middleton and Ros were joined by Paul Jones, Andie Brown, Mark Stephenson and Simon Carmichael to record and release 1994's "Muster"/"Prince of Lies" 7 inch (Touched/World Serpent).
In early 1996, Cindytalk toured the US. They played two shows in Boston — one a "secret" show at the start of their tour under the name "Lucinder", and one at the end. In between, they played Washington DC, Cleveland, Detroit, Minneapolis, Portland OR, Seattle, Santa Clara, San Francsisco, Corona CA, Tempe AZ, Baton Rouge, Atlanta, Orlando, Miami, Charlotte NC and New York City. Bowery Electric and Trance to the Sun were opening acts at multiple dates.
By the tail-end of the decade found Sharp concentrating on his electronic side-project, Bambule, inspired by the underground techno parties that he was frequenting at the time. Following several years’ immersion in this world, Sharp decided to revive Cindytalk in 2003, bringing the technological know-how learned during his soundsystem tenure to bear on the project.
In the summer of 2005, Cindytalk was invited to use tracks from The Crackle of My Soul as musical score for the UK independent film Madrigal (Rabblewise Films). In summer 2006, based in London, Cindytalk started working on a new (band) album provisionally entitled In A World Without Hope. The Indiana-based label BlueSanct released a Cindytalk 10 inch called Silver Shoals of Light as part of their 10-year anniversary limited edition ART singles club. Recorded 2006; released 2008. Matt Kinnison died from cancer on Wednesday 7 May 2008.
In 2009, Editions Mego – the Vienna-based label that has provided a home for the likes of Fennesz, Russell Haswell, Florian Hecker and more recently Emeralds and Oneohtrix Point Never – released a Cindytalk album entitled The Crackle Of My Soul. Since then, the Mego/Cindytalk relationship has solidified, yielding a 10″ split single (with Robert Hampson) and another album, Up Here In The Clouds, released earlier this year.
The Poetry Of Decay, out via Mego on November 1, compiles Up Here In The Clouds and The Crackle Of My Soul, and represents the first time that either album has appeared on vinyl. The bonus 7” features two tracks, ‘Transgender Warrior’ and ‘Guts Of London’, originally released by Klanggalerie in 2003.
In Spring 2011, Jacob Burns of Lata (and former bass player with Scottish band Damn Shames) joined Cindytalk on electronics. Cindytalk were invited by Ray Davies of The Kinks to play at the Meltdown Festival on London's Southbank (June 2011). Handmade Birds announced a new Cindytalk album for summer 2014 entitled "touchedRAWKISSEDsour". In 2014, they played the BBC Tectonics festival, sharing a billing with Thurston Moore.
xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx
Most of what makes Cindytalk's debut so wickedly engaging is Gordon Sharp's voice. Torturous, howlingly cathartic vocals were nothing new by 1984, but Sharp's exorcistic bellows are unique -- effeminate but not delicate. Oddly enough, the closest early '00s approximation of his ominous voice on this LP is James Maynard Keenan (Tool, A Perfect Circle). But Sharp's cathartic wails are more damaged and gutter-ridden. The pulverizing "It's Luxury" is lead by incisive guitar riffs that rival Big Black's chain-link fence battering. Bad Seed and Birthday Party member Mick Harvey appears to have stopped by the studio for all of two minutes to lend thudding drums to "Under Glass," which is rife with sax bleats, lumbering bass, and other random BP-isms. When not dabbling in isolationist electronics ("The Ghost Never Smiles," "Everybody Is Christ"), a good amount of Camoflauge Heart is dipped in Birthday Party's harum scarum. But while BP dove headlong into the bacchanal, Sharp shakes his demons with equal lack of abandon into despair. There are a few moments where formless self-indulgence gets in the way, but mostly it's inspired work and ultimately, oddly cleansing.
Cindytalk - Camouflage Heart (flac 207mb)
01 It's Luxury 3:42
02 Instinct (Backtosense) 4:06
03 Under Glass 1:56
04 Memories Of Skin And Snow 5:35
05 The Spirit Behind The Circus Dream 4:37
06 The Ghost Never Smiles 6:45
07 A Second Breath 1:54
08 Everybody Is Christ 4:14
09 Disintegrate... 4:36
Cindytalk - Camouflage Heart (ogg 85mb)
xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx
In This World is an opus in every sense of the word. Originally, In This World came out in 1988 as two separate albums under the same name, each with slightly different artwork. One album, a masterpiece of abject post-punk that in all honesty is the closest parallel to Swans’ Children Of God; the other, a delicate ambient construct of melancholy piano scarred with surface noice prognosticating pretty much everything that Type Records has released (e.g Machinefabriek, Jasper TX, etc.). It’s very good thing that both of these albums have been repackaged into one self-contained object, as the only half of In This World that seemed to be floating around was the piano-laced ambient one. As good as that half is, you need the grit and dirge of its companion album to complete Cindytalk’s ideas of grand dualities: heaven / hell, pleasure / pain, holiness / transgression, etc.
While billed by Sharp as the ‘disgusting’ part of the In This World diptych, the first half begins with a lovely tonefloat of scratched violin drones and painterly piano notes. Yet, with the crushing rhythm and noise attack of “Janey’s Love,” Sharp does not disappoint with his disgusting tag. This is a monstrous industrial dirge with huge monotone slabs of distortion and atonal drones counterpointing Sharp’s soaring falsetto. The punk poet Kathy Acker supplies a brief spoken word interlude as the coda to this incendiary number. Immediately hereafter, Cindytalk continue their turgid rhythmic marches with an angular distorted rhythm, slippery bassline mired in audio rust, and twin guitars spitting acid, fire, and brimstone on such tracks as “Gift Of A Knife” and “Circle Of Shit.” As the first half of the album progresses, the songs steadily disintegrate as rhythm, song structure, and noise all collapse into a blur of smeared grey that is eerily reflective of William Basinski’s Disintegration Loops. The piano which opened In This World becomes the dominant sound in Cindytalk’s soundscapes, also marking the delineation between the two halves of In This World. Yes, this is the beautiful side of Cindytalk, coated in ash, snow, bruises, and rust. Gordon Sharp’s piano playing comes from Brian Eno’s Thursday Afternoon, which in turn came from Erik Satie; and that impressionist sentiment continues forward amidst subterranean drones and field recordings of barren spaces. Sharp’s voice is mostly absent from these tracks, although the eponymous finale to the album showcases one of Sharp’s most emotive croons. They really don’t make albums like this any more, with such attention to detail and dynamics between rage and beauty.
Cindytalk - In This World (flac 295mb)
01 In This World 7:04
02 Janey's Love 3:12
03 Gift Of A Knife 3:31
04 Playtime 4:46
05 The Room Of Delight 1:37
06 Touched 4:06
07 Circle Of Shit 6:28
08 My Sun 1:51
09 The Beginning Of Wisdom 6:45
10 No Serenade 7:28
11 Sight After Sight 6:11
12 Angels Or Ghosts 2:43
13 Through Water 9:02
14 Cherish 1:14
15 Homeless 1:27
16 Still Whisper 1:27
17 In This World...3:08
Cindytalk - In This World (ogg 139mb)
xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx
This extends the ambient feeling of "In This World" with field recordings, using a similar palette of instruments and noises. Quite nice but sometimes a little too unfocused. Sparse ambient soundscape with occasional piano chords & natural sounds (birds, wind, running water, looped church bells, echoed piano, etc.).No vocals, in case you were looking for some.
From the sleeve notes: 'A Cindytalk diversion: Originally recorded as a soundtrack for the film "Eclipse".' Eclipse has never been officially released. It was directed by Ivan Unwin, a U.K.-based film-maker who had previously collaborated with Cindytalk on several short films.
Cindytalk - The Wind Is Strong (flac 201mb)
01 Landing 3:24
02 Firstsight 1:44
03 To The Room 1:22
04 Waiting 3:19
05 Through Flowers 1:07
06 Secondsight 0:30
07 Through The Forest 1:37
08 Arrival 5:02
09 Is There A Room For Hire 1:30
10 Choked I 6:55
11 Choked II 4:35
12 Dream Ritual 6:01
13 Fuck You Mrs. Grimace 3:40
14 On Snowmoor 6:58
15 Angel Wings 2:05
Cindytalk - The Wind Is Strong (ogg 96mb)
xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx
special bonus for today
Beginning with a stunning a cappella version of Ewan MacColl's folk classic "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face," with the high, elegant beauty of his voice fully intact, Gordon Sharp and Cindytalk create a fascinating, varied record with Wappinschaw. Sharp's trademark fusion of brute aggressiveness and unexpected tenderness remains intact, suggesting something of what Tim Buckley might have done had he been around for punk and industrial music. Officially only two other members make up the core of Cindytalk this time -- drummer Paul Middleton and guitarist/sampler David Ros -- but a variety of other players contribute everything from further guitar and bass to violin and bagpipes. The in-your-face side of Cindytalk is actually more tempered on Wappinschaw, suggesting power held back rather than fully exploding, making for a fascinating tension throughout. "Empty Hand" is a fantastic example -- Sharp here snarls and croons at the same time to great effect, while the slow trudge of the heavy feedback groove sounds like it's echoing up from the depths of a cavern. Songs such as "Traumlose Nachte," with its lead piano and weird, buried echoes, continue this overall mood. When the band does fully fire up, as on tracks like "Return to Pain" and the unnerving loops and crumbling noises of "Disappear," the effect is all the more gripping as a result. "Wheesht" is a definite highlight, with Scottish author Alasdair Grey reading a snippet of his groundbreaking novel Lanark, leading into a brief eruption of heavily produced sonics. The final, untitled track is where Sharp and Cindytalk finally let go completely in an orgiastic explosion of noise interspersed with brief silences. Sharp delivers a breathtaking command to "the spirits of Shiva," summoning up everyone from leftist Scots poet Hugh MacDiarmid to Ulrike Meinhof and Pasolini in a fervor of command, making for an inspiring conclusion.
Cindytalk - Wappinschaw (flac 261mb)
01 The First Time Ever... 1:55
02 A Song Of Changes 2:55
03 Empty Hand 3:03
04 Return To Pain 6:50
05 Wheesht 3:33
06 Snowkisss 4:19
07 Secrets And Falling 2:24
08 Disappear 3:37
09 Traumlose Nachte 4:15
10 And Now In Sunshine 4:29
11 Prince Of Lies 3:03
12 Hush + Muster 13:09
Cindytalk - Wappinschaw (ogg 107mb)
xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx