Monday, November 03, 2008

"...Outside history is falling like snow..."

In the mid-1970's,Gordon Sharp went to see the legendary Van Der Graaf Generator many times.
They were a fairly strong influence on the music of The Freeze and Cindytalk.
Currently their drummer,Guy Evans,plays with Subterraneans.

Debbie Smith,of SPC Eco,Curve and Echobelly,was in one of London's first lesbian punk bands,Mouth Almighty.
Debbie Wright,once a Cindytalk member,also played with them.

On Dec 10th 2008 Cindytalk have been invited to play a gig alongside Subterraneans and SPC Eco at The Gaff,London.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

"Quivering with reflections of the future..."


Water flowing / feather burning
Angelic drone floating
A bell chimes (several times)

The voice

Multitude of sounds - ever heard of sonic constellations ? -
Always up
NOIZE poetry
Almost surrendering
Going UP UP UP

And then


Calmness of the endless horizon
The gentle moving of waves

To the bottom of the sea, she sang (mermaid cindy doll)
Quietly burning / quietly drowning
Caressing guitar chords... unexpected

Down to
The bottom of the sea

Like luminous fishes dancing into the Abyss

That was Cindytalk that night
10/12/08 @ the Luminaire in Kilburn London "

(Photo and text by Fabrice. Many thanks! )

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The work behind the silver

Today sees the official release of "SilverShoalsOfLight" on
Bluesanct Records.
This 10" vinyl is a limited edition of only 500 copies on black vinyl with a screenprinted b-side and letter-pressed sleeve.
The sleeve was created by Chicago-based Rebecca Ann Rakstad of
Rar Rar Press.
Rebecca does letterpress printing using handset wood and metal type and a Vandercook Universal I press to stunning results.
Here we have stacks of the printed letter-pressed sleeves:

The offset printed front:

This is the plate on the press for the back side of the sleeve:

Rebecca decided to make a poster with the remaining extra paper and came up with this!:

Type used for the poster:

The vinyl print on the b-side of the record featuring the image at the top of this post was made by Keith Wright at What Press.


Time Out magazine lists tonight's Cindytalk gig at The Luminaire as one of their Critics' Choice...

Friday, September 26, 2008

Luminous Silver

"CINDYTALK will be celebrating the release of their 10 inch vinyl picture disc release on BLUESANCT Records on the 12th October by playing at the LUMINAIRE
(311 High Road Kilburn London NW6 7JR - tel 020 7372 7123).
We are obviously hoping to have copies of SILVERSHOALSOFLIGHT with us for sale on the night but add a note of caution that it is being sent over from the U.S. especially for the event,so fingers crossed that it arrives on time.
We will be selling the record for a special £5.
The song was written between Matt Kinnison and Cinder and following Matt's death earlier this year.
Some of the money from this sale will be going to an elephant sanctuary in Africa.
Appearing with us at the LUMINAIRE will be JOHN & JEHN plus TENEBROUS LIAR - who will be celebrating the release of their new album LAST STAND on TV Records.Doors will open at 7.30pm.
£5 for tickets in advance/£6 on the night.
We would very much like to thank everybody who came to see us at the 12Bar in June - it was a great night and we hope to see you all there again on the 12th."

Friday, September 19, 2008

A Day at the Museum

Matt Kinnison's memorial at the London Natural History Museum was a very special event.
Among other things,it involved a quiz where the attendees had to go round the museum's premises answering simple questions relative to stuff Matt had an interest in,therefore interacting with Matt and the place itself.
A previously unreleased track was especially finished for this event and has been added to the player.
"Vitriol In Memoriam" (For Matt) features music composed by Matthew Kinnison and Neil Woodbridge on which Gordon Sharp was invited to sing on.Words come from a poem written by Matt and Gordon some time ago.
A "Matt pack" was given out containing a CD,a booklet of Matt's illustrations,a wooden elephant,a letter by one of Matt's close friends,Sara Crowley,the words for Vitriol (scroll down the page) and a packet of freshly ground coffee!


One of the last band rehearsals Matt attended in 2007 before stopping altogether due to his illness.
Band members at the time (from left to right):
Matt Kinnison,Paul Middleton,Andie Brown,Gordon Sharp.

Matt lost in bass,2007
(Both photos by Shrill)

People standing looking at the sign for Matt's memorial,wondering why the dinosaur was called Matthew Kinnison!

Quote by John Berger found inside the museum's Emerald Room.
John Berger is the author of "Hold Everything Dear",part of the inspiration behind the upcoming Cindytalk release of the same title.
(Photos by Cinder)

Quote on screen (photo by Andie Brown)

Thank you to all those involved in organising the event and those who attended on this very special day.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Memorial Dance

A memorial celebration for Matt Kinnison will take place today in London's Natural History Museum.
My thoughts are with all those attending.
Since Matt was very fond of Stockhausen,I am dedicating this bit of dance to him.As said elsewhere,"forever with us".

"Helikopter",music composed by Karlheinz Stockhausen and performed by the Arditti String Quartet.
Choreographed by Angelin Preljocaj.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

"The Next World"

Spaewaif asked freelance artist Len E. Burge a few questions regarding his animation short film "The Next World" with music by Cindytalk.

1.Could you tell us a bit about yourself?

This is always a hard question for me but I'll try. I am a 41 year old sculptor living in Ventura Ca with my bride to be and our three wonderful children. They are my life and ultimate inspiration!
As for career,I am a freelance sculptor-artist-animator-toy designer-inventor or whatever someone wants me to create. I'll find a way. My interest in creating film or video only comes when it is a total creative and free process. So, I don't do it very often.
I am currently creating sculpture work that I lightly manipulate on a computer to create images from my brain. This is my first endeavor in total inspired art that I would love to show in galleries. Finding the right gallery is another story.

2. You once wrote this self-introduction:
"My work borders on the edge of the pre-sleep imagination.
That space right between consciousness and unconsciousness where brilliant thought might enter the feeble mind."
I can very much relate those thoughts to Cindytalk's own work.When did you become acquainted with Cindytalk's music?

High school 1983?.
A friend's mother lent me some very interesting records. The one I fell in love with was the first "This Mortal Coil" .
I then learned of the different artists like Gordon Sharp and the different labels creating great new music.
An amazing awakening.
As for "Pre-sleep imagination and brilliant thought entering the feeble mind",this is a state I hope and wish everyone on the planet and beyond might feel at some point. Where consciousness and unconsciousness meet. They blend to reveal thoughts or many patterns of thoughts changing and revealing images or thoughts totally forgotten by the waking mind. The feeling that you have all the answers in the universe and that you are totally aware, BUT! You wake up. Often times the waking mind will erase this and make it feel too simple. Maybe so you will forget and go on with your daily routine. Maybe it's too soon for evolution of the mind to take place. I don't really know. Anyway, the end.

3.Your short film "The Next World" features music from
"The Wind is strong".
When Gordon Sharp and I talked about it,he was particularly impressed with the way the images fit the music.
How did you script the film? Did you first weave music into images or images into music?

"The wind is strong" is probably my favorite record I hold right up there with other ambient works from Eno to Budd. This kind of music is like a soundtrack to my life-work. Enhancing creativity rather than distracting. Creating a dream-like atmosphere in which to work to.
I knew which track I wanted and I knew the look and the style of the film. So, I sat down and created timed storyboards.
That is essential to animation because time is of the essence and every frame is used.
Obviously, I am very indebted to the great work of "The Brothers Quay", their work is amazingly flawless and beautiful.
With "The next world" I was going more for an old fashioned German expressionist style.

4.Time and its fragile but inexorable passing seems to be one of the themes of your film.
I am also curious about the character that falls down from above after peaking into a world seemingly beyond their position inside the clock...
Can you tell us more about the main ideas behind it?

The first little character in the film is under the impression that it controls and maintains the timeless dimension of "The next world". In his lonely curiosity he discovers another entity behind the scenes, so to speak. This startles him so he falls, destroying his outer shell and revealing that that he is the simple metal frame that he glimpsed in the beginning. Distraught, he sits and ponders when the real caretaker comes to meet him. Arms outstretched, he remembers and goes with the caretaker. The caretaker shows him the door to the next world. He enters and starts the cycle over. He will continue to repeat this life until he gets it right.
This is how I view life. Repeat until you get it right. I hope I'm getting it right.

5.The figures in your film are so full of life yet so fragile! Which materials did you use?

This film was very "green": 97% recycled wood and antique parts from an old film studio. Having only $10,000 to work with this was a necessity that really worked out well.

6.When did you film this work? Also,there seems to be a funny connection with Schindler's list...

I was approached, I think it was 1994?, by a rock band. They wanted me to direct an animated video for them. They only had $10,000 so I said I would if I had total creative control. They agreed. I made the Cindytalk film.
Then I put their music on a copy and gave it to the label. Nothing happened with it except for the experience and enjoyment of film making for me.
The studio I was working with supplied me with 35mm color film. I really wanted black and white. I called a lab and they said they would trade the color for leftover Schindler's list stock. So,of course! It was the highest quality b/w film on the market at the time. I was very lucky.

7.Which other Cindytalk music would you put images to?

So many! Well, Snowkisss would be wonderful although I really like what someone did on youtube. Very interesting. All of the Wind is Strong. That would be nice.

The Wind Is Strong was released in 1990.
Cindytalk members for this "diversion" were:

Gordon Sharp
Ivan Unwin
Matthew Kinnison
Paul Middleton

Monday, July 28, 2008

Ghost Drift Images: Cindytalk at the 12 Bar 30 June 2008

This video excerpt includes the following tracks
(laptop material in lower case, band performances in upper case):
I Walk Until I Fall (partial) | A USEFUL MELANCHOLY | If We Meet,
We Meet In Silence | PRINCE OF LIES | Shibuku (partial).

"There can't be many groups who I started listening to almost twenty-five years ago who are still going, let alone ones whose output still means much to me. In fact, of the handful of artists whose work I liked then and who are still active, none has released anything that has struck much of a chord with me for quite some time. The people who I tend to think of as my long-term favourites came slightly later, in the mid-to-late 1980s.

Only one band I was listening to at the age of sixteen still has the power to intrigue and excite me and that band is Cindytalk. The wayward, enigmatic Cindytalk, whose last "proper" album was released in 1994 (though a couple of subsequently planned releases have surfaced via the internet). The band who I'd only ever seen perform live once, in late 1995 at the Dublin Castle in Camden. The band who I'd ever wondered if I'd see on stage again.

It's funny how things go. They did a gig towards the end of last year in London, but I couldn't make it. A couple of months ago, I found myself enthusing about them to a friend of a friend. I ended up re-immersing myself in their albums, making a compilation CD of what I considered to be their most intriguing material. This influenced one of my written pieces at the time. Then, a few days later, a London gig was announced.

Chance, or fate? Who knows. Where Cindytalk are concerned, anything is possible. A band cursed and blessed: cursed with a considerable degree of bad luck surrounding the ownership and re-releasing of their back catalogue; blessed with an extraordinarily singular vision, an individuality and a purity that has seen them charting solitary territory throughout their existence. A band without peers, with all the joy and terror that this implies.

The problem I always have with Cindytalk when trying to convey their appeal to others is trying to encapsulate them in a way that does them justice. I used to describe their debut album Camouflage Heart as "the soundtrack to my dreams". That's probably a more honest reaction than rattling off a list of comparable band names, but it's also the only approach I've ever been able to take. They don't sound like anyone else.

So, here's my conundrum: how do I review this gig? For a start, it comes with a weight of expectation, the pent-up appetite of over a decade. All critical faculties desert me as I approach its convulsive beauty. The most realistic tack would be to say nothing, to urge you to click on the YouTube excerpt above and experience it for yourself. And yet, I'd feel rather selfish doing that. I need to try, at least, for the people who couldn't be there.

The set lasted around forty-five minutes. It was mixture of ambient laptop backing and four-piece band performance. Straightforward, in many ways: guitar, bass, drums, vocals. Oh yes, those vocals. Gordon Sharp still has one of the strongest, most beautiful voices I've ever heard. A voice that connects with something elemental yet floats amongst the stars, matched by a musical backdrop of considerable subtlety and power.

In fact, the music was something of a surprise. If there's any long-term trend to Cindytalk's output, it seems to be one of de-structuring and dissolution. However, the band performance was remarkably melodic and song-oriented, amongst the expansive, ambient electronica of the backing material. Also, it was great to hear the excepts from Ghost Dance (a favourite film of mine) featuring as part of the set.

Watching Gordon on stage, I'm thrown back to that first startling moment when I heard his voice on This Mortal Coil's unexpectedly compelling 16 Days Gathering Dust cover version. I'm sixteen again, alive to the overwhelming possibility of the world: the potential, the beauty, the desire, the rawness. And yet, here we are: I'm forty and I feel no different. The ongoing journey has only made these things more precious.

Cindytalk do this to me. No amount of hyperbole is going to frame it, express it or contain it. They are, utterly, without doubt, one of the defining bands of my lifetime. I wish they were more well-known, but at the same time I know that the very things that epitomise them work against that. If they start playing gigs more regularly I might stand a chance of becoming more objective and critical. Until then, I'm content to be overawed."

Video & Words by Stuart aka Hydragenic
Photography by Richie Young

Set list:

The titles in capitals are those played by the group, the rest are the tracks played as part of the laptop set:

How Soon Now... | Above The Paving Stones, The Stars | SPEECHLESS CAGE | Fly Away Over Here | Hanging In The Air | LOST BETWEEN US | Maglev | WIDENING THE FOCUS | From The Mountain | I Walk Until I Fall | A USEFUL MELANCHOLY | If We Meet We Meet In Silence | PRINCE OF LIES | Shibuku | OUTSIDE OUT | Signalling Through The Flames | A Distant Kite | The Eighth Sea | MY DRIFT IS A GHOST |...until we disappear...

More images from the gig can be found at
Poison Creeper's Concert Attack page

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Drawing near

"SilverShoalsOfLight" Bluesanct Records update:

"We've had a bit of a longer wait than expected on this one, but it's
because we want it to be PERFECT... and it going to be so gorgeous, I
promise you!
Esp. in light of the passing of Matt Kinnison, this release must SHINE
brightly and resonate with everyone who sees and hears it.
We have the vinyl pressed: CHECK.
Colour front of sleeve: CHECK.
Letterpressed back of sleeve: soon.
Screenprinting of vinyl b-side: in progress.
The backside of the vinyl is a gorgeous half-toned photo of reeds
reflected in water... it's taken many different tests to get the image
half-tone correct. We've finally got a stunning test print, and are ready
to do the final printing of all the vinyl.
SO, thanks for sticking with us, and it will be worth the wait...
shouldn't be long before I have a price worked out, and then we can do
pre-sales to be sure you all get yours before they go bye-bye... I expect
it to sell quite quickly once released. SOON SOON SOON!"

Monday, June 02, 2008

"Above the paving stones,the stars"

"This rare live performance by Cindytalk, will feature two live sets in one.
An abstract and minimal electronic set will intermingle with a partly improvised set of new material by a full band line-up, featuring singer Gordon Sharp alongside long-time Cindytalk drummer Paul Middleton, bass monster Gary Jeff, laptop obscurist Sherrill Crosby and new guitarist Daniel Knowler."
(From Tenor Vossa Records website).

Band line-up currently rehearsing:






Thursday, May 08, 2008

Both Hands Turn To Heaven (Matt Kinnison RIP)

Long-time Cindytalk friend and collaborator,Matt Kinnison,died on wednesday 7th of May.Matt who had been part of the Cindytalk family since 1982 (having co-written "Under Glass" from the Camouflage Heart album) had been ill with cancer for some time.He died peacefully at around 11am after deciding he had endured enough.I saw him a few hours earlier and let him know that his spirit would continue to shine through all of our future work.And whilst it was very difficult to see him so close to death,he had almost never looked more beautiful.It was an absolute privilege to spend that time with him.He told me he was 16 when he came to audition for Cindytalk (when David Clancy and I lived up in East Finchley in 1982) but we subsequently discovered he'd lied and was only 15.I thought he was too young to be considered as our bass-player at that time but had a strong feeling that here was somebody very very special, somebody that would get better and more interesting through time.He proved me right and more.He wasn't always the easiest person to work with,he didn't just have foibles he had FOIBLES... but he was more than worth any effort made and he showed that time and time again,especially with his bass-playing and tape manipulations on "The Wind Is Strong" & "Wappinschaw".We had been in rehearsal to play live when he had to stop due to a shoulder problem which was later diagnosed as lung cancer.We had also been working together on new material over the last two years,notably, "For The Benefit Of All" and "Silver Shoals Of Light",both of which were written by myself and Matt.A new Cindytalk album, again written between Matt and I ("Hold Everything Dear") had just been completed before Matt's condition worsened,rendering him unable to create any new sounds.Cindytalk label touchedRAW had been planning to release Matt's stunning album of yayli tambur pieces "Evenings Of Ordinary Sand" but had been held up due to the petty deception of our back catalogue being stolen.But we will endeavour to bring that plan to fruition as soon as possible.Matt always worked very hard with his music and he did so right up to the end.He will be sadly missed by all those he came in contact with.Rest in Peace Matt,seek out those corners,wherever you are.You will always be with us.We love you.

Gordon Sharp/Cindytalk


You asked me for a shaman to help you on your way... this was written some time ago but maybe i can imagine you near and i'm whispering in your ear...

this journey is fevered
and i'm moving between the lines
in a corner of the sky
where it's dark around the edges
where pity holds sway.
i'm trying to stay dry
for now
hot then cold
i'm slipping in and out of focus
at times i hover
then i'm still
maybe for days.
and then like now
i'm falling
like the golden eagle
i can see all things from this vantage point.
i hear you sigh
lost in that distance
of warm bodies
of silver shoals
of light
of flying too..
it's never cold up here
even when it's snows
even when i'm naked.
and you on the edge of adventure
close your eyes
close your eyes
close your eyes
we're falling
touching wings
like the inuits kiss
up up up
into the cool blue sky
i change my name from icarus
to shaman ghost-echoes
and take my place at the mouth
of every river
dancing with the wind
with the moon
with the love of a million stars
and when you reach that edge
and a long long long way down
close your eyes
close your eyes
close your eyes
and feel the ghost echoes...

(Originally posted by cinder on cindytalk's myspace)

Wishing you well in your next journey,Matt.We will be listening...

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Flickered Fiction

I recently found this fictional cover for "It's Luxury" by Cindytalk fan Robin Parmar and it made me think about the scarcity of Cindytalk singles.
Is there any particular reason for that?

Monday, May 05, 2008

"Glaciales et psychotiques.Unique et fascinant".

That's how French magazine Elegy describe "It's Luxury",the Cindytalk track included in their Sampler 52 that accompanies the magazine of the same number.There's also a one-page review of the ill-fated reissues:

Minty Archaeology

Despite having released just two singles,The Freeze's repertoire live was surprisingly large.Some of those songs can be rediscovered in David Clancy's youtube project (see Links list).Last year I came across a four band compilation EP from an Edinburgh label called Playlist Records that contained a Freeze reference.A track by "Twisted Nerve","Neutral Zone",was "based" on a song "written by Gordon Sharp for and perfomed with The Freeze".

Any recollections of this song?

Craigmillar,the place

On 30th April 1978, the Anti Nazi League/Rock Against Racism (RAR) march and carnival took place in east London's Victoria Park.The succesful and seminal event was repeated in other parts of the UK and was also held in Edinburgh's Craigmillar Park in the summer of 1978.
As seen in the programme,The Freeze also joined the occasion but The Clash never turned up...Another band,The Scars had to hurriedly leave the stage ... : Freeze biker gang?!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

SilverShoalsOfLight Updated

"So here is another update on the CINDYTALK 10" out soon on Bluesanct.Most importantly, WE HAVE THE VINYL! and goodness is it pretty and it sounds FIERCE! I was on tour with a friend for all of February, during which time I had hoped to have the b-side of the vinyl screenprinted with the image Gordon gave me... Unfortunately, the image was too detailed to work out, and so we are looking into other ideas for the screenprint, hence the delay.In the meantime, I hope to sort out the sleeve this weekend, and shoot it off to the printers...AND SO...We are making slow, but sure, progress... I will update everyone again soon, with pre-order info and a price, so you can be the first in line and be sure to get a copy of this gorgeous piece of sound and vision by CINDYTALK! All good things...Mkl."

Photo by Spaewaif

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Magic-Revue Pop Moderne

The January issue of French magazine Magic included a two-page review of the reissues.
Thanks to Stanislas (Trinity) for the initial information and to Christophe Basterra,author of the article,who kindly sent copies.

Reissues Reviewed

Whilst Cindytalk themselves are keeping quiet regarding the reissues of "Camouflage Heart" and "In This World" ,various websites,fanzines and magazines have been reviewing the remastered and repackaged records.
This silence is due to totally unforeseen and indeed very unpleasant circumstances brought about by the releasing Italian label and Cindytalk are therefore heading towards legal action.
It is not my place to discuss this matter here but - to illustrate the situation - I will just mention the fact that to this date,Cindytalk are yet to receive ANY copies of the releases in either vinyl or CD format from the label,as well as any royalties or contractual payment.
Cindytalk were absolutely delighted to have their back catalogue reissued and worked hard to make these records available but the joy has all but evaporated.
Bruised once again (cf. Midnight Records and World Serpent),the band is now looking into new possibilities to release the back catalogue through their own label.

Aquarius Records, the oldest independent record store in San Francisco,
included these reviews in their highlights of the week:

CINDYTALK Camoflage Heart (Wheesht / Scratch) CD (with 12 page booklet)/ LP printed inner sleeve

"Longtime regular aQ customer Joshua Maremont commented that Cindytalk's Camoflage Heart is a record which was only really meant for about 30 people. Not that only 30 copies of this record were released, or that it is so terminally obscure and willfully difficult that it by design has a marketing ceiling of an elite few. What he's on about is that Camoflage Heart is such a personal document of self-realized torment, pain, and sorrow that when Cindytalk embarked on the project, it's hard to imagine that they had any delusions about the intensity of this album and the potential for these songs to alienate beyond a limited few.
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. Camoflage Heart was Cindytalk's first album and originally came out in 1984; and it's an album like those This Heat albums which is quite unique in terms of production and aesthetic. The album opens with the militant drum machine of "It's Luxury" setting the stage for an explosion from a monotone guitar riff, coated in amplifier grit, distortion, and detuned heaviness that comes across as a mix between late-'80s Skullflower and The Cure's Pornography. At this moment, Sharp's voice also erupts into the mix crooning with a downtrod beauty to this industrial dirge, spitting and swooning at the same time. The next track "Instinct (Back To Sense)" is more of an ambient interlude with distant heartbeat rhythms, haunted with impressionist piano trickles and Sharp's siren song buried between an atmosphere of smoke and mirror. Two more explosive tracks -- "Under Glass" (featuring Mick Harvey from the Birthday Party for a disjointed stutter of abject rock) and "Memories of Skin and Snow" -- are examples of loud / quiet / loud dynamics, later embraced by the likes of Slint and Mogwai to equally profound effect. "Everybody Is Christ" is often viewed as the pinnacle of Camoflage Heart with its harsh arpeggiation of electronics cast against Sharp's heavenly voice. Soon after, the album disintegrates in a cascade of delicate piano, voice, and grim drones.
As Cindytalk had suffered through the fate of several record companies going out of business (first Midnight Records then World Serpent), their work might have been forgotten had it not been for this reissue. Thankfully, that oversight can now be remedied with this long overdue reissue."

CINDYTALK In This World (Wheesht / Scratch) CD (with 20 page booklet)/Gatefold 2 LP WHITE VINYL printed inner sleeve

"So the rumor goes that Gordon Sharp was invited to join Duran Duran after Sharp 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 Sharp 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.
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 a 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.
Fortunately, both of these records were concise enough that they could both fit onto one CD; and if you've not had the opportunity to hear Cindytalk, please do not let this album and its predecessor Camoflage Heart pass you by!"

Friday, February 15, 2008


Reference lacquer for Cindytalk's Silver Shoals of Light 10",
coming on Bluesanct in early 2008.

Photo by Drekka

Sunday, February 03, 2008

We disappear

" WE DISAPPEAR is the third novel by Scott Heim. It is published in paperback by HarperPerennial, and will arrive in bookstores on February 26th.
This short trailer for the book provides the atmosphere for this psychological thriller about obsession, addiction, and loss, a book that should please fans of Heim's earlier MYSTERIOUS SKIN (which was adapted for a 2005 film by director Gregg Araki)."
Accompanying music by Cindytalk.

From Scott Heim's blog:
I've spent the last few weeks working on a promotional video / trailer for We Disappear. Michael and I (and my HarperCollins marketing team and I) have been discussing the possible publicity options for writers, and I've been wanting to make something like this for a while; after a couple of potential collaborations fell through--collaborations with folks who know more about creating this sort of thing--I finally took the advice from the excellent Joseph G-L to just do it myself. So I did. The result is below. Thank you to Brent Covington for letting me borrow his movie camera; Apple for the super user-friendly iMovie; and the saintly Gordon Sharp of Cindytalk for granting me the use of his song "In This World."

Monday, January 28, 2008

Flashback Feedback

The Freeze 1979

David Clancy,co-founder of The Freeze and Cindytalk,recently started a project on youtube to highlight the band's early work.
So far,TheScottishFreeze shares music from 29 tracks, many of which are absolute rarities.An added joy are the comments from band members.

Song recorded in 1979 for a Freeze side-project called "Pinktones":
"I remember that project was on the outside of the Freeze and I always referred to it as Pinktones.
One of the tracks,an instrumental,was often used as intro music at Freeze gigs (when we needed a change from Nico's Frozen Warnings)".
"One of the very early Freeze songs captured live in Blair Street Edinburgh circa 79".
"Underglass" (Instrumental)
"Matt Kinnison plays Bass, David recorded the sax and rhythm on top.
(Can't call it drums because it was his bed, a couple of pillows and if you listen closely a bunch of keys).
This would eventually end up of the first Cindytalk album with guest drummer Mick Harvey of the birthday party doing real drums."
"David recorded the drums using pillows with books under them if I recall.
Oh and you can just about hear the change in his pocket as accidental percussion ;-)
How brilliant was David Clancy!!! This is also the first time we recorded with Matt Kinnison,I think he was 16 at the time,you can hear him say "did you get enough" {bass] at the end.
Wonderful stuff."
"Some Kind Of Journey"
"Somewhere between the Freeze and Cindytalk.This tune probably heralded the end of the Freeze. Bounced at Blair street on reel to reel as it was by David, Gordon and Neil. a jolly good way to spend some time on a wet afternoon in Edinburgh!"
"In A Strange Light"
Recorded live,probably at Linlithgow Academy.
Encore recording.