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).

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Monday, February 20, 2006

Mischievous Noise

"...think of the scrapings and the subterraneal sounds of
"through water" (from the album "the wind is strong");
the dark brooding cacophonies of "the beginning of wisdom"
(in this world) and the proto-technoize of "everybody
is christ" (camouflage heart).those more "experimental"
aspects of cindytalk have always been as crucial
to their sound as say Sharps' voice and it's in
those elements that you might find the connections
between bambule and cindytalk.past-present-phuture.
a still warm,disembodied voice reinterpreted into
signals collides with "extreme electronics and splintered
cindytalk meets bambule"...

Photos from Darkside 6 , Oct 30 1998, courtesy of ele_mental

Review for Darkside 5 :

d a r k s i d e 5 :: journey from the light
columbus ohio, fri 31 oct 97

"the next performer was BAMBULE COMMANDO, aka gordon sharp,
a Scot (via London) who has been residing in columbus for the last
several months. although he has been working on the outer fringes of
electronic and experimental music for 20 years (as the head architect/
vocalist of the UK outfit CINdYTALK), he is careful not to claim he is a
DJ, but his approach has liberating implications nonetheless.his music
continued in the vein of AXESS, playing a 45-minute set that continued
to defy the expectations of those who expected to come to a "rave" and
have a great time. this was not for them (they were the ones hanging
out outside waiting for the party to "start," as usual ;), but it was for those
interested in expressions of sonic purity.
the liberating aspect of his DJ style is that he does not beatmix at all,
using a technical limitation to his advantage to create deliberately
shocking and abrupt changes in sonic contours. to say he cannot spin,
however, would be a drastic miscalculation, as he is an artist of the
highest order, creating a set of music that at times vaguely resembled
those forms of music we used to call techno, electro, hardcore, and
drum&bass, but whose ultimate result was an obliteration of forms
underpinned by a deep, growling hum of grime and dust and noise
(marred only by some modest sound problems that created some
unwanted feedback and a bit more distortion than desired).even more surprising,
perhaps, was gordon's incorporation of vocals into his own DJ set...
not entirely unlike MCing. he growled, yelled, screamed,chanted and made
percussive sounds with his voice, going perfectly with the music.
it may seem very hard to imagine someone "singing" over their own set,
but to experience it was to witness a true vocalist at work,
exercising total control over his voice in a way that flowed seamlessly
with the sounds his records produced. this was not a rock'n'roll show,
but a vocal performance by someone who truly understands uncompromising
underground dance music and works within it to create something uniquely
his own. in so doing, gordon reveals the borders between which he seeks
to navigate; bringing to light the now-obvious links between punk and
techno, combining the best aspects of both into a new configuration that
seems to be both punk and techno, and neither. a mindblowing, important experience".

ed luna

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

What is Bambule?

Bambule is a Cindytalk side-project named after an Ulrike Meinhof film. The word "bambule" is of African origin (meaning "riot" or "dance") and also means "mischievous resistance" in old German.

"Melody and noise . . . the chaos of connection"

Flyer for "Darkside" with characteristic Cindytalk poetry
(and handwriting!)
"The Chaos of Connection" is also the title of a yet unreleased DJ mix album.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

And two more from Wappinschaw. . .

Andie and Mark with Cindy

Andie says:
"...A few other abortive attempts at forming
or being in bands were made until a nice young
Scottish lady called Gordon Sharp responded to
her advert in Melody Maker and she was whisked off
to the mean streets of Dalston and the Hackney squat scene
to become a member of Cindytalk..."

Photo by Steve Gullick

Friday, February 10, 2006

"While the siamese twins of hammer and feather caress"

"I could never compare one Cindytalk album to another,you know,come out and say,for instance,that this new one is the best ever,because they are apples and oranges.Each one is a different thing all together.But on the other hand,I do not know of any other band that has such a cohesive body of work.Four albums that fit together like one well-structured yet utterly spontaneous symphony.That said,I will now rave specifically about Wappinschaw.It strikes at once as being stunningly vital,daring (like you sit there,staring at your stereo on first listen repeatedly saying wow under your breath and making funny half-smile expressions...) but at the same time you wonder how you could have lived your whole life without these sounds playing.
Completely obvious and hugely startling.It begins with the most stark,rich,full,intimate,sexual,sexless,scary,cradle-comforting cover version I've ever heard-"The First Time Ever".Next are "A Song of Changes" and "Empty Hand" which,I've been assured,are the same versions from the "Secrets and Falling" EP,but sound somehow different in their new context.
The songs that follow are complicated and intuitive.Sounds and words from other albums wander in and out again,Alisdair Gray reads a bit of one of his novels,a siren-horn flips across your head,there are growls and drumsand trumpets and Gordon's gorgeous way of talking in "And Now in Sunshine",then this exquisite lullaby "Prince of Lies".
And then another sort of lullaby,"Hush",which contains one of my favourite moments on the record:as the vocal fades away,the guitar bit continues and several spoken samples weave in and out while the beginning of ten minutes of bagpipes fades in-it's pointless to describe,it's just a perfect moment.After a silence,of some minutes,the album ends with an invocation,"Muster"-an invitation not to recoil,beautiful contradictions."

Wappinschaw review,written by Annie for the fanzine
Tear Down the Sky 1995

Thursday, February 09, 2006

"In Sunshine"

In 1991,the fanzine GRIM HUMOUR invited Cindytalk to provide an unreleased track on a split 7" with the band SPLINTERED for a limited edition of 500 copies accompanying the fanzine.Pictured above is the test pressing,copy number 001 of said single.(Thanks,Richo).
The fanzine featured an interview with Gordon Sharp.

"Despite still being,in my humble opinion,one of the UK's terminally & criminally most overlooked bands,CINDYTALK have succeeded in becoming a highly fervent creative unit capable of delivering some of the best filmic and abrasive sounds around.The band's mainstay,Gordon Sharp,gels together CINDYTALK's ideas and enthusiasm with a voice permanently locked to a vortex of its own;and one,for that matter,which shouldn’t be instantly dismissed.
Currently at work on their third album,which (even at this early stage) almost traditionally bears very little resemblance to its predecessors ("Camouflage Heart" &"In This World", respectively),CINDYTALK have finally found themselves working as a band again,rather than an assemblage of musicians working for Gordon Sharp.
The sound(s) evident on the excerpts of the new LP I heard after the following interview appear to,on the whole,be more acerbic (with vast,crushing rhythms occasionally reminding me of Zeni Geva) and,I'm certain,will bring many surprises to those of you either already initiated or acquainted. . .And,well,if you're not familiar with the band then be sure to,at least,give them the chance this time around. . .

GH Are you still exploring the same subjects or whatever as when you formed Cindytalk?
GS Er,well. . .I’m not sure what you mean by that.I certainly don't consider Cindytalk
  as really looking at specific subjects.It just looks at whatever it looks at.
GH How much harder or easier is it during the writing process of the new album than,say,
with the first one?
GS It's much the same.
GH But does it take any longer now?
GS No,it's a similar process and,well,it's not something I really spend a lot of time thinking about.As I'm the person who's been in Cindytalk since the beginning anyway,er,starting something new is always interesting.And,with Cindytalk,we start something new all of the time,continually. We keep regenerating,like Dr Who,with a different face and although it's a similar direction,it's an awkard process.Having said that though,that's like generally,because it's always different.
Therefore,it's not the same entirely,as there are always different people and different people have different characters and,whichever way you look at it,the angles that come through are looked and changed.Therefore it changes.
GH Is there any pressure involved? Outside or otherwise?
GS Depends what you mean,exactly. . .
GH OK.In the studio environment?
GS Well,we put ourselves under a bit of pressure just because we want to make sure that what we do is,first and foremost,good for us.And,a close second,that it's of interest to other people.We like to do something that's going to make the group comfortable and also is going to prick the interest of other people.So,there's that pressure there.Up until recently though,there's been very little pressure from the record company,etc.Ever since we came to Midnight some six years ago,there's been no pressure,really,and we've always been allowed to do whatever the fuck we wanted because they've had their trust in us to do what was right for Cindytalk.Therefore,it was right for the record company.The last year,however,things have been harder,in economical terms. Midnight have been standing over our shoulder a little bit and saying“Have you nearly finished yet?.Not an awful lot,admittedly,but I think it's understandable because of the climate.We do work slowly though and if you look at us from many angles,we look like a complete fucking mess... and to us,we do too.But,if you look at us from another angle and see the way that we do work, you'll see that we are quite together in our own way...but it takes a little time to focus. (And,if you're prepared to give us that kinda focus,then you'll get something in the end.
If you're not prepared to give us that time to focus our ideas though,then you might as well not bother).I don't have any complaints though.I fully understand the pressure that's come from Midnight lately.But,there's pressure everywhere though.I mean,fuck,you know! However,that's the only immediate thing for us.
GH Do you actually go into the studio and work on songs whilst there now?
GS Yeah.We've always done that,really.Although,well,it used to be a bit more half and half when it was like three of us working in our bedrooms and writing stuff,but we don't have the equipment anymore.Most of that disappeared when other members disappeared,you know,because it was personal equipment.So,now,we have to use the studio because we're not a live band anymore...although we're struggling to become one!
GH Do you use all of the ideas that bounce around in the studio then? Do they all end up on the record you're working on?
GS We use most of them.I mean,we've got a good attitude in that we're not wasteful...we don't record loads of stuff and then just bin in.We record loads of stuff and if it doesn't work out in one way then,sure as fuck,it will work out in another.We just utilise it all.We use sound as base material to work with and we're very good at exploding stuff and then re-assembling it in a different way or just re-assembling bits of it in a different context.
GH Is there a good,healthy mix of ideas from each person involved?
GS Yeah,they're all mine!
GH I see,you're a tyrant then?
GS (Laughs) No,it's a democracy!Whatever that means!It's a British democracy whereby we all get our say but as long as I get my own way at the end of it all!We're very much a mirror image of, like,Thatcher's Britain!
GH So you don't want to sell any of your records then?!
GS You see,we're miserable bastards!I haven't actually stopped laughing since the first LP yet!
GH Right.It's true that Cindytalk are much of a band again,then?
GS No,it's not anymore of a band than when making either"In This World" or "Camouflage Heart".
We went through a period during the recording of the latest stuff where it was more of a band... there were six of us who were rehearsing together but,unfortunately,there were some people who just were not really into what was going on but weren't prepared to kinda like say that at the time.But that's the same as every record,really.Because we take a long time,we usually have to go through some kind of shit before we get to the end of it.That's another reason why we do take so long,too.It's not just because we're slow bastards but also because we're,erm,well I'm
specifically interested in making records over a long period of time because I think that allows them to move.It actually allows the ideas to breathe and take on the characteristics of the people in it at the time.It's a lot better than having someone who strums away on his guitar and tells the bass player to play that and the drummer to do this or whatever,you know,whereby in ten days they've got twelve songs.I mean,I'm sure there are people who can do that and do it successfully,with a certain amount of quality but,for me,I feel happier when we drag ourselves to what we're doing and make it over a period of time.
GH There's a keen sense of care involved as well,then?
GS Well,also it makes us feel as though we've got a job!
GH Are all of your ideas compatible?
GS That's both a yes and a no answer.That implies that we've got,like,the perfect people in the band and it all works nicely,but it never does.It can never be that compatible.It can only be as compatible as it is and therefore,that's what you do.Do you know what I mean? I've certainly
never been in a band where all the ideas are compatible.That strikes me as being in like fucking Nirvana!
GH So,you'd agree that incompatibility breeds the best results?
GS Both compatibility and incompatibility are useful as long as the energy is channelled
positively.We're just a group of folk who want to do something good and yet are struggling to
put something together which is going to interest people and,most importantly,ourselves.On the way,we've made huge blunders as well as made some really good decisions which have worked really well.If incompatibility overbalances the other side,the good side,then it fucks up and that's how it's been for us over the last couple of months.
GH Earlier,you mentioned about struggling towards live work...are you actually still aiming to play this year,like you were intending to,last year?
GS Cheeky bastard (Laughs)! Er,yeah. . .
GH Can't you elaborate on that?
GS No.
GH Alright,well,do you think you'll be wanting to actually put on some form of show or. . .
GS No,it'll be very simplistic,whereby people will combine abilities,thoughts and ideas and make sound onstage.I like simplicity,and I like the idea of the combination of energies or whatever.To me,that's the best show you can find.There'll be no big deal.We're not going to dress up in fancy clothing or shit like that,you know. . .
GH The Virgin Prunes!
GS Well,I wouldn't knock that!I didn't mean it in terms of me thinking that nobody else should
do it.When the Virgin Prunes started doing what they did,they were fucking brilliant.Yeah,they developed into a self-parody very,very fucking quickly,but just before that,they were excellent.
GH Are you going to try and promote the album when it comes out?
GS I've not really thought about that.We could go around with spray-cans though,because that'll probably be about as good a promotion as we'll get! Or we could try handing out leaflets!
But,no,we’re really not that know,trying to get some gigs together to
promote our next LP is a sophisticated idea!
GH Where do you draw your motivation from at the moment?
GS Each other.Simply.
GH Could you say something about the track,"In Sunshine",that's accompanying this edition of
Grim Humour on the 7"...?
GS Well,the song is about a's about a feeling of a kinda momentary pleasure.
A movement from one place to another.With the eyes even,just looking from one place to another and catching something,you know? "In Sunshine" is simply a glance from one place to the next and seeing something bright.It's a moment captured.
GH Finally,are you still comfortable with the idea of Cindytalk and what it means to you?
GS Yeah. . .
GH I suppose you might view it as a learning process?
GS It's a living process.And,a living process is a learning process as well.I mean,it's everything and it's nothing at the same time.Again,if you looked at us with a microscope,you might see indecision and contradictions but,you know,fine.I'm not afraid or frightened of these things.It's just whatever it is."

And now in sunshine
eyes open
children of saoirse
turning homeward
oh . . .
I’ve imagined
and dreamt
that my sun
is shining
and shaking
with anticipation.
I’ve even danced
without balance
without poise
across the floor
blessed with an awkward grace
corrupt honesty
and obsession
killing you softly

After the fireflies,the candles crackle

"After the Fireflies",a Cindytalk dj mix,prepared for the 60th anniversary
of the Hiroshima atomic bomb,begins with a field recording of the
radiation-like crackling of a candle ceremony in Hiroshima Peace Park.
May 2005.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Dancing, dancing . . . two from "In This World"

Debbie Wright,saxophone in "Janey's Love" and cinder
as featured in Melody Maker 1988
Brother Alex Wright also contributed instruments to this extremely beautiful release filled with rippling poetry,night and day,sweet and sour . . .

Saturday, February 04, 2006

"nothing else existed, no sleeping dreams, no film-like nightmares. . . "

Cindytalk's interest in film is well-known. Cinema samples have been used in tracks and film screenings have graced the live sets.

The album "The Wind is Strong" was originally recorded as a soundtrack for the film "Eclipse",directed by Ivan Unwin, a U.K.-based film-maker who had previously collaborated with Cindytalk on several short films.

Most recently, music has been provided for a film called Madrigal

Italian director Alberto di Gropello has used Cindytalk music in two of his short video films,"Cielo Rosso" (Red Sky,1993) and "Qualcuni sorride,gli altri li conosco di persona"(1993).

Swooshy beats and textures

"I've been a fan of Cindytalk for 20 years;the music is driven by texture as opposed to tune,primal energy rather than the quest for any kind of acceptability.This is the first Cindytalk show in about seven years,it is a short set,very bare,voice,guitar and laptop,very calm,the feather to accompany their hammering DJ set that had cleared the Metro at the start of the week. . . "
(Photo and text by Steve Gullick.Careless Talk Costs Lives, Issue 1 2003)

"Gordon Sharp (and Paul Jones) of Cindytalk does a late night swooshy beats
behind an eerie little couple of songs. Earlier he has had sushi delivered!
OOoh get him ! we say....rock-star....but no....the sushi wasn't ordered!
Someone has had it delivered as a surprise....Spooky and a little embarrassing
but yum veggie sushi is scrummy".
(Delia's gig guide,, September 2003)

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

". . . but those who will,will listen further . . . "

"Everything that is good and pure IN THIS WORLD is very quickly abused by people who try very hard to either bottle it up,and sell it,or to destroy it".
"Camouflage Heart" is a double-barrelled description of Gordon Sharp's emotions and feelings as well as being the name of Cindytalk's debut LP.Cindytalk is an idea fronted by Gordon and aided by John Byrne,with the addition of David Clancy for the duration of that album.
You may not recall his history with The Freeze,a band completely removed from the sound of Cindy which disbanded two years ago with two singles and a considerable Scottish following to their credit.But nobody could deny being seduced by his soothing interpretation of "Kangaroo",an indie chart-topping single that touched the hearts of many as part of the This Mortal Coil project.
With Cindytalk the story changes.On "Camouflage Heart",their only vinyl venture to date,the flowing,melodic singing voice that adorned TMC has changed,perverted and distorted into a variety of tones.Sometimes there are decipherable lyrics,but more often the voice produces emotional bellows becoming an instrument no electronic emulator could aqual.
"I don't believe I'm a singer,in the sense that I'm singing on Kangaroo,but that's not my DESIRE anyway",says Gordon."I prefer to use my voice to reflect what is going on in me at the moment.At the heart of Cindytalk lies a lyric,but that is the beginning.The most important thing about Cindytalk is the whole,the overall effect".
This overall effect is staggering.The album begins with a simple drumbeat,and then crushes any preconceptions with a grinding guitar.The sound leads you on,a dog on a leash being dragged through unchartered territory,confusing you with changing tempos and elusive atmospheres.
Throughout,your imagination is allowed to take its own course,but is kicked and thrown in opposing directions."The Spirit Behind the Circus Dream" may lull you into security,but the ragged battering of "Everybody is Christ" will shock you and leave you stripped of easy understanding.The pace changes again-"Disintegrate" with its slow chants and distinguishable lyric is like a retreating tide,leaving you washed up on damp sand.
The lyrics,the heart of Cindy,are camouflaged.When clearly presented they can be taken differently,depending on your mood.But more often they are covered,buried by the music.
"It's setting up a familiar ground and then taking it away.Which is what we are trying to do,to create an uneasy landscape that has a sense of familiarity in it,but not making it too readable so that you really,really work with it.I think that is one of the tricks with Camouflage Heart,because it is a playful record,a record that plays games with itself and the people who listen to it".
With a sound so encompassing and a record so disturbing,you may consider it a test of its listeners' reaction.But spontaneity and complete lack of an obvious path dispel any accusations of tricks being played on the public.It remains the result of 23 years' living,the feelings,observations and inspiration.But does the public want this much emotion in one album-will it be rewarded?
"People that are drawn towards it will hopefully sense that it is worth pursuing.And I think the record works that way.The heart and soul of the record is there.There's sensitivity in it,there's beauty in it,there's love,a hell of a lot of love and care in it".
"But there's also an awful lot of mess and agression there,so to get to the real heart you've got to wade through an awful lot of that.Therefore it's almost as though people that can't even begin to understand won't go near it,but those who will,will listen further and hopefully get something from that".

Melody Maker, January 19, 1985