Sunday, December 10, 2006

...The spiritS behind the circus dream...

This photo resurfaced a while ago.
The time?
The people?

"Cindytalk was formed in 1982 by Gordon Sharp (Vocals) and David Clancy (Guitar, Keyboards) from the ashes of Edinburgh based punk/new wave band The Freeze.The Freeze (1976-1982) released two 7inch singles,recorded two John Peel sessions and played extensively around the UK supporting many big name bands of the time. After re-locating to London in 1982,Cindytalk began to work towards their debut album Camouflage Heart,with a newer,darker and more fractured sound that drew much from post-punk and early european industrial music.In 1983 Sharp and Clancy were joined by John Byrne who proved to be a crucial component in Cindytalk's deliberately disintegrating sound..."

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Soul Crackle

Floating in the net,
a discussion about
"The Crackle of My Soul"...

"Is it music or noise? Well, I'm no authority... I consider every noise to be music in potential. I liked it though, whatever it was. If life were a stream, this guy would be swimming with the current".
"Wanted a fresh set of ears, cos to me this really IS so different from most noise stuff whose only concern usually is to brutalise and confuse the listener or even most avant-classical stuff which is usually overly technical or dry. This stuff is completely different I think.
"Soul" music indeed".
"It sounds pretty brutal to me."
"To me it sounds "Beautiful". Although I've had my periods of being immersed in noise. This is the thing that interests me about it. The USUAL idea with someone making noise IS brutality. That's why I say that this is completely different. Perhaps we're so used to connecting noise with brutality that we automatically assume it. Jonnyboy saw it as more like "art" which is also something we're used to : noise as art. Noise as beauty maybe is harder to comprehend. Although I'm not presuming my interpretation is the "correct" one. Jonnyboy is right when he says "art" cos this stuff is presented in an "art" way, although there's more to it than that. "Brutal" is also correct. Cindytalk can be very brutal. And "beauty" is also correct.
It's interesting how different people take out of it different things.
Cindytalk is however ALL these things. (And more).
A recurring theme in his career is the juxtaposition of extremes and the collision of opposites".
"Music is a pretty abstract medium though,don't you think? Expressing that which can't be expressed in words etc. That's the strength of music. The traditional rock "narrative" form of music would seem to be a denial of the power of music, putting the importance on the words. Now, there ARE Cindytalk songs with words, and I get kinda frustrated when Sharp doesn't sing cos he's one of my favourite voices. There's a double album called "In This World" where even though I love his voice and his lyrics are great, the 2nd disc which is comprised almost entirely of improvised piano pieces is the one that completely astounds me".
"My definition of noise as opposed to "music", is that noise is something random and unorganised and music is something that is made by a musician and is something that the musician has organised in order to put across a certain feeling or expressiveness or whatever. These tracks are made up of noise but their organisation makes them music, whereas in this definition someone sitting playing the guitar very badly and cliched I would see as "noise".
(Ever heard a room full of teenage guitarists noodling between songs? noise!).
The difference is the expression or "soul" of the musician or artist".
"I posted a while ago some music by Cindytalk that was to all intents and purposes "noise". Except that it wasn't. It was "beauty".The reason why is that it had the order , the symmetry, the proportion.This is what separates it from actual random noise, which doesn't".
"An instinctive grasp of what "beauty" is".

Photo by Steve Gullick and thanks to Cregan for the insightful words.

Sunday, November 12, 2006


Uploaded to the player,the track "Maglev",
live at Otoya Kobe May 2005,
featuring a sample from Macabre Unit's Shooting Stars.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Saturday, October 07, 2006

"Dancer,alchemist and warrior,always female"

A: Tell me about your circle of friends that appear in Muster.

G: Well, Muster, in relation to the Wappinschaw, is an invocation of the spirits. Because I'm basically fucked off with the way our world is changing- in the opposite direction- and also pissed off at people's attitude, that they're not doing anything about it. And looking back over history, near and far and seeing how people with true soul and spirit and ideas and poetry try to reach out through their physical and artistic action to at least suggest change, in some instances to directly try to change things that might be forcing down upon them. That ranges from Ulrike Meinhof, Don Quixote de la Mancha who is the world's most wonderful cloud, who I am madly in love with. Each and every character is there for a reason. I wanted to find more women, and I looked really hard, but that was the wrong way to look at it, and I mention it because it's really quite important to me, it bothers me still. But I realized it would be very false of me to actively go and academically search for them- because that's not the same as being inspired by- they inspire me because they're there. They're just people who have some way affected me, in my life. I grew up always having some kind of oppositional attitude to things. As an adult too. It relates to anybody and anything that stands in a separate position instinctively, and creates their own space irrespective of the disruptions and destructions. So when feeling low, and in despair and wanting to conjure up ghosts, I think these are the ghosts I'd like to conjure up in spirit to come and galvanize people into thinking and acting and leaving behind apathy and trying to create beauty and ultimately joy. Because that's what we're after. Joy is the key.

Tear Down the Sky,Volume 12 1995

"Take my hand..."

Melody Maker (October 22, 1994):

"The office stereo's packed up (again), which means I have no way of ascertaining if this semi-spoken, semi-illusional oddity from Cindytalk is half as intriguing as I thought on cursory listen sometime back in the Dark Ages. Probably." (Everett True)

Looking at the other artists reviewed on the page,this must have been an oddity indeed!

"Prince of lies"

take my hand
take my hand
take me...
anywhere you want to
touch my lips
touch my lips
touch me...
anyway you want to

i won't kiss you
if i kiss you
i could be
the queen of heaven

i won't love you
if i love you
i could be
the queen of heaven
the queen of heaven
the queen of heaven


Thursday, September 21, 2006


The thistle:
wild,prickly,pointing upwards.
The journey continues...
Demo version of "For the Benefit of All",
coming release on the Wheest label,
uploaded to the player.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

That book...

"He only read from a book & screamed during his set..."
( A Bostonian's reaction)

"What you hear is all that is there.
I see a parallel with Haiku poetry.
The words and the music
are not symbolic of anything.
They are everything."

Cindytalk interview,Melody Maker (April 16), 1988

Photos courtesy of pepe king prawn, live in London 1993/4(?)

Monday, September 18, 2006


cindytalk's the crackle of my soul,
bobby august's debut album and
matt kinnison's evenings of ordinary sand
will be released on the touchedRAW label
before the end of the year,hopefully.

Track "Of Ghosts and Buildings" uploaded to the player.

Photo "The Poetry of Decay" by cinder

Saturday, September 16, 2006

"Not so fast, just as loud"

"THE FREEZE are a band who,quite simply,deserve your attention.They are David Clancy (guitar),Keith Grant (bass),Graeme Radin (drums),Gordon Sharp (vocals) and,added recently,Tony Wallis (guitar,saxophone and clarinet).
Coming from Linlithgow near Edinburgh,they've worked very hard for the last two years,gigging constantly around Scotland.During this time they've supported a wide range of acts,from Sham 69 to Echo and the Bunnymen,and have progressed from being fairly ordinary to perhaps the most impostant band in Scotland today.They currently possess a set packed with numbers which grab your attention and don't let go.The main indication of their strength is the fact that their best songs are so diverse,making them extremely difficult to categorise and impossible to associate with any of the current muisc-paper invented fads.Unfortunately,this had repercussions,namely very little coverage in the music press.
They've released two singles,the "In Colour" EP of last year and the recent "Celebration" both on their own A1 label.
Although these singles are both excellent,most of their best songs are as yet unrecorded-the new "Perfect Call" with its speedy,hypnotic riff (it would make a great single),the disciplined power of "Lullaby in Black",the rampaging "Closed Circuit" and a great version of Eno's "Baby's on Fire".

The first topic discussed when I spoke to Gordon and Graeme recently was "Celebration".
Gordon:"It's about a silent film star called Louise Brooks who had her peak period from 1927-1929.She was supposed to be an excellent actress,she probably surpassed Dietrich and Garbo,she got some good parts in films but the trouble was that she wouldn't toe the line with the directors and producers and therefore her talent was spoiled by the fact that eventually they'd begin to lose interest in her because she wouldn't do what they told her.She wanted to do her own thing,that's really the basis of her story.
An unusual subject for a song as I am sure you'll agree.The other side of the single is "Crossover",a quiet,delicate piece which seems to be more of an atmosphere than anything else.Gordon agrees.
"It is meant to be very atmospheric,"Crossover" is very much about mood music,it's not really meant to be a definite song,it's a piece of music with vocals on it,in fact at one point,I would have preferred there had been no vocals on it".
This is not to say that the lyrics are meaningless.Apparently they are based around the idea of reincarnation.We talk about how sound is better on "Celebration" than it was on "In Colour",the band seem to view work in the studio as a process of trial and error.How happy are they with "Celebration" compared to the first single?
Gordon:"Much happier than the first one,not 100% obviously,when you get to the stage of being 100% what have you got to work for?I'll never be happy with our sound".
Next up is the question of success,something that The Freeze haven't found easy to locate,although as Gordon says they have been succesful in their own way in that they've pleased a lot of people and sold 3 or 4,000 copies of "In Colour".
I wonder to what extent they desire commercial success?
Gordon:"I'm not really sure if I want to get the same success as The Police,to name a band.I'm not sure if I really want that because every single they release sounds exactly the same.They started off as a good band and they're still a good band but they don't do much..."
Unfortunately,there is one major hurdle to be overcome before The Freeze can ever be commercially succesful.The fact is that most people have never heard their music.Their singles have not exactly exploded onto the Radio 1 playlist and they've had little or no advertising.This leaves the alternative of live gigs which is virtually impossible outside Scotland.
Gordon:"We'd love to go to London to do gigs,to try to break through there but it's very difficult getting in there,it's a vicious circle.The promoters say "we like your records,come down and we'll see you" and we can't get down till they book us and they won't book us until they've seen us,so we're stuck.You've got to know somebody,it's who you know that counts".
One controversial aspect of The Freeze is Gordon's image.It has always been very direct and has led many people to mistake his confidence on stage for arrogance and big headeness and subsequently to dislike the band.Gordon sees his image as being quite natural.
"My image is really feminine at the moment.When I say "at the moment" I don't mean that's just a phase I'm going through but I'm doing that just now.I've been doing that for a long time,I even did that two years ago although it wasn't as outward as it is now.The image is just an extension of what I am as a person.It's not even an image.It's just me.It's not contrived,just what I feel like".
In the future,The Freeze just want to continue making music that they themselves like and that makes people think.They are not a "political" band,their songs do not contain banal slogans.On the other hand,they are not a disposable pop band.If there is an overall message it is don't sell yourself and remain an individual.They are not against compromise,they will listen to suggestions but will not follow orders from anyone.
I suggest that you listen to The Freeze soon.It would be a tragedy if a band this good was ignored.

Zig Zag magazine,September 1980
Article by Andy Crabb,pic by Hilary Kerr

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Protest songs

On November 4th 2005,The Guardian's Culture Vulture blog asked readers about their favourite protest songs.An entry read:

"Circle Of Shit by Cindytalk,a song from 1988 that suggests that the US's disrespectful foreign policies and frightening world policing might bring retaliatory attacks to america.Prophetic."

CIRCLE OF SHIT (From In This World)
ecstasy is...original sin
ecstasy is...original sin
and no favours and no faith
still born into a world filled with fruit and delight

ecstasy is...original sin
ecstasy is...original sin

into a world not safe, a world is crying
eyes red with tears, red-stained blood-shit smears
a world is crying...

'we welcome you america - we are seeking martyrdom'
'generation of anger - generation of anger...may fire pour on america'

...insincere at the very least and beneath the shit he smiles
while he fucks, scaled down to size mr. terrorist himself
shouts and fails to see his own puppet-shit

and the mouth of man is breathing fire down on our heads
and beneath the marble floor, there lies a question
why does my body shudder, why does my body shudder so

ecstasy is...original sin

and escape from death into life can be the greatest mistake
the child sees only the birds, hears only the sound of water
kissing land, the sound of the wind shifting through time
and now it appears with the joy of life...
from the past, covered in the blood of ignorance
from the past, covered in the blood of ignorance

(This song was also covered by Black Rose in The Room Inside,
featuring Gordon Sharp on vocals.)

"Cindytalk: gruppo di frontera, musica unica e vertiginosa"

Contributing vocals,
ideas and inspiration,
Gordon Sharp collaborated
on these two Contempo releases.

"My sun is hanging low in this sky
and beckons me and taunts me
and cries:
(icarus,icarus make love to me)
I'll come to you on wings of snow
I'll come to you on wings of snow
I'll come to you on wings of snow..."

(Words for Black Rose's Moon Love)

Saturday, August 19, 2006

"The path of cindytalk is always a difficult one..."

This E.P. "was sent up as a flair during the recording of Wappinschaw to remind people we were still around and active and the tracks are mainly from that body of work".
"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 Daryl Moore (Soul Static Sound)".

Review on Fist Five (1992) by Dean Fist:
"On a different level is the sheer atmosphere of the vastly neglected CINDYTALK with their "SECRETS AND FALLING", MIDNIGHT MUSIC DONG 76 12inch. Far from bludgeoning the senses, this EP dips and soars seeped with atmosphere. There is nothing out of place on this record. The only fault I can find is that there isn't more of it. The emotion of the voice blends into the instrumentation without precendents. Dripping with a Romantic sadness it's a shame that more people don't take more notice".

Cover and sample snippets weaved into the songs from the Victor Erice film "The Spirit of the Beehive"

One of the tracks,"The Moon Above Me", has been added to the player.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Still quietly burning

" my sleep i'm still falling.
when i'm awake, it's just the same.
be there with your arms out-stretched.
across the blighted sky,
a shining star.
quietly burning...
my arms out-stretched will catch it's fall."

Artwork by Kathy Patterson
1-1st vinyl album cover
2-2nd vinyl album cover
3-combined cd cover

Scottish musician and long-time Cindytalk fan Stuart Kemsley
has made a cover version of the track "In This World".
Click on the music icon in the new player to listen to it.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Loops and Sada Abe


i was dreaming of decay
dreaming of atrophy
mythical goddess of disintegration
of her earthly manifestation
sada abe -
in the realm of the senses
lulled by the most erotic image
ever seen
Sada Abe
hair cascading down her face
knife clenched between her teeth
seconds before she cuts the dick
off her dead lover
for days she carried around
her treasured keepsake
deep deep inside
for days she wandered
beyond passion
beyond pain
beyond passion
beyond pain
beyond passion
beyond pain.


(Yukata girl by Lisa Onomoto,
author as well of the beautiful drawing
on the Transgender Warrior cover).

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Homage to Ashwin Street

"At the beginning we rehearsed on the third floor (i lived in the basement), after i moved up the road we moved rehearsals to the basement.It was an absolute joy to be able to rehearse whenever we wanted and at no cost.
It allowed us so much freedom to explore our live set-up and to keep it changing.It's crucial to have the time to connect musically with each other when live improvisation (but NOT self-indulgence) are the aim".

(Cinder,somewhere else on this blog)

(Photos by spaewaif,circa 2004)

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Up here in the Clouds

touchedRADIO tR5 :

"Up here in the clouds",
a collection of old and new
cindytalk idea sketches.

Includes a remix of "Transgender Warrior".

(Unfortunately,touchedradio is NO LONGER available.
We are currently working on other audio options)

Saturday, July 15, 2006

We all dream of Cindy

Rare promo poster for Kangaroo

THAT voice

"I felt like it was the end. I was at the point where I hated my voice. I felt I couldn't turn in any direction because I'd exhausted myself with 'Camouflage Heart'. Then I did two songs for This Mortal Coil, and, to me, that was a lie. I'd gone in and used by voice purely technically. I'd never done that before. I'd always been instinctive about it.This Mortal Coil was an interesting experiment, but I could live without "Kangaroo" quite easily. It doesn't mean anything to me. As a vocal performance, it astonished me, but it also disgusted me. As soon as I sang it, I knew it was a lie. I knew it was a hell of a lot less soulful than anything I did with Cindytalk...
People tell me I'm perverse. Or difficult. That I should sing properly. Like with This Mortal Coil. I can't see it like that. It's not even a matter of compromise. I just can't think that way."
(Melody Maker, April 16, 1988)

Two versions of this single were released:
one with a silver border and one with a red border on the sleeve and labels.

The run-out grooves read «I dream of Cindy».

It entered the UK Indie Chart on 15/9/84 and spent 20 weeks in chart,
peaking at number 2.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

"From the romance of destruction to the devastation of near silence"

"Cindytalk is me",quips Scotsman Gordon Sharp,"plus a cast of thousands".
Including John Burn and Alex Wright,who-with Gordon-form the nucleus of the current Cindytalk incarnation on the "In This World" albums.
Yes-albums:two distinct and distinctively-packaged vinyl LPs of the same name.Confused? you will be (and why not?).
Gordon's previous work has included collaborations with the Cocteau Twins
("They came from the same area of Scotland as me and I've known them for quite a few years",he explains,"and did a Peel session with them"),and the first of 4AD's This Mortal Coil projects,
as well as Cindytalk's previous Camouflage Heart album".
Gordon ascribes the delay between Cindytalk releases to "exhaustion.
Basically,I wanted to collect ideas,throw them into a pile and listen-out for new things.
Finding new people to work with can be painful,so I chose to wait for a purpose to do something else,rather than just supply follow-up product".
Rest,recuperation and rethinking led Gordon to consider as an eventual follow-up an album of piano music."But then I decided to do a one-off single,exploring one noisy idea.
At the same time,I was recording something for a Midnight Music compilation,which I thought ended up too good to lose and wanted to add to the single,which was rapidly becoming a mini-LP.
Things were changing shape and form and almost getting out of control.So that's why there are two albums with the same title,as the material grew up together".
But,Gordon,why not then release a double-album?
"That would have been too conceptual.
This way,each record has a similar,but separate,identity.It's not contrived or meant as a ploy,it just happened.Though I like it being playful and mischievous.
That it might be confusing is a pleasing notion to me".
A confusion resolved on the CD release,which contains all the material on the albums.
"I don't know.I like to start afresh each time,it's a process of rebirth with each project".

(From "The Catalogue" Issue 57 March 1988)

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Eternity Chaos

Bambule Commando DJ mix featuring snippets from the film
Julien Donkey Boy

Art by Hans Bellmer

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Waiting for the madrigal

The film Madrigal with music by Cindytalk was first screened yesterday in London.

The press pack,downloadable from the Rabblewise Films website,states:

"Cindytalk's original score "The Crackle of My Soul" facilitates our move into interior worlds.Its found sound aesthetic creates song literally from static and mirrors the snatched beauty of the film.As static it melds with the soundscape of the city".

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

"This salt heals all my wounds"

Solo piano piece released in 1994 on émigré music .
This sampler titled "Dreaming Out Loud" also appeared as a limited edition CD that came with a box that contained a small pillow.
Music to become friends with...

Monday, May 01, 2006

"A distant hand lifted"

Cindytalk will be performing a laptop live set at Otoya,
Kobe,May 7 2006.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

"Year zero is every year!"

Bambule Commando DJ mix

Featuring Praxis Records/Widerstand Records/
New Skin Records/Somatic Responses/Dan Hekate/etc.

More on graffiti...

Thursday, March 16, 2006

The one with the thistle,on a tree . . .

This photograph was used as the cover for the first edition of Camouflage Heart and also as a promotional poster for said album.

The spirit of a waif,by the wall

"Ragged and standing (the image of a waif)"

Photo by Cliff Ash.
This version is different from the one that was finally used on the cover.

The boat,by the loch

Label on Camouflage Heart by Bruce Corser

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

"The Perfect Illusion starts here..."

Back at the beginning of Cindytalk,there was a photocopied magazine related
to their ideas and inspirations.Its title was "The Perfect Illusion Starts Here".
The contact address for the band that appeared in both vinyl versions of Camouflage Heart and on the CD was also "the perfect illusion".

Video stills from a Freeze/going into Cindytalk track,"Lullaby in Black"
(and "Quietly Burning"?).

Could Plastic Orcadian and Cinder illuminate more all this?

Monday, March 13, 2006

"Walking through darkness but having no plan"

Article in Jamming,December 1984
Photo by Alastair Indge

"We are not free. And the sky can still fall on our heads..."

"'Take care to fall' was recorded in May of 1998 and originally released on cassette under the title 'There can make nothing of difference'. I intended to put it out on CD as early as 1998 or so, then got busy doing this and that and this and that and this and that... after a while it became a joke, people would ask when it was coming out and laugh.
The original title of the CD was to be 'Take care not to fall'.
Gordon Sharp was over for the Cindytalk US tour and I told him the title and he said,
'Oh, that's horrid.If you don't fall you'll never learn to fly. I changed it right then. Although I put 'Take care not to fall' on the other spine, in French, just to confuse people and give people an option to their own fate."

Take care to fall

Track 11,"...and the first time (in two sections)" contains samples from Cindytalk's
album "Wappinschaw".
The CD credits the sample wrongly for track 10.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Walking and falling

Cindytalk's latest release to date is the remix for Appliance Japan
of a Defeatist track for their Japan Tour 2005.
The track "I walk until I fall" can be heard on
under the title "Up Here in the Clouds".

(Unfortunately,touchedradio is NO LONGER available.
We are currently working on other audio options).