resisting the definitive…

Handmade Birds issued 20 May 2014
Review by Matt Krefting Wire Magazine
July Issue.

The term middle ground implies some
degree of compromise, but Gordon Sharp
places inbetween-ness at the core of his
work, exploring what lies outside regularly
codified categories.His catalogue has
resisted the confines of binary thinking
for decades – confronting normative
conceptions of gender, by becoming Cindy
in performances and in life, while eschewing
the trappings of readymade musical
genres, preferring instead to dwell upon
alien qualities of difference.His Cindytalk
project draws upon clanging post-punk,
icy electronica and modern composition,
and has vacillated between song based
and more abstract forms with ease.Take
this album’s title : raw and sour aren’t
opposites, they’re just not the same. A
wordless venture into the furthest reaches
of Sharp’s electronic interests, the album
coincides with the 30th anniversary of
Cindytalk’s most famous release, the
industrial song cycle Camouflage Heart,
but it’s neither a nostalgic look back
over the shoulder or a forced step away.
There’s the sense that Sharp will not rest
upon the laurels of his back catalogue or
strain towards new realms solely for the
satisfaction of novelty.

The disc opens with “Dancing On Ledges”,
a soaring cycle of static clusters tearing
apart and immediately regrouping, and
it forms a stuttering exposition for the
rest of the album, which flows confidently
between moods and atmospheres.”E Quindi
Uscimmo A Riveder Le Stelle” moves from the
sounding of bells to an electronic military
march, evolving into a haunting, half-spoken
series of distant pulses, while “Reversing
The Panopticon” tinkles with high-pitched
melodic phrases buried in fuzz against
jumbled rumbling rhythms.
The standout track “Yūgao” is a soft,
ten minute pasture of delicate piano and
melancholy synthesized bedding. The
interplay between the elements is versatile
enough to prevent things from spilling over
into saccharine’s beautifully
wrapped up in itself, full of longing and the
knowledge that the act of desire can be more
pleasurable than the attainment of desire.
When it draws to a close it doesn’t so much
end as disperse.
None of the tracks truly coalesces, but
the album is stronger for it, taking on a
fleeting narrative quality.Sharp undermines
institutionalised, oppressive modes, and
his music explores abstraction of formal
thought and the possibilities it can provide
- the ideal arena for someone dedicated to
resisting the definitive.

available from

Pulse Records
90A Brighton Road,
Horley, Surrey,
01293 771000

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