Artist Profile – Cindytalk

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Of Ghosts And Buildings – Archive of Cindytalk-related material

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Cindytalk is a project centered around Scottish performer Gordon Sharp, who, throughout years, was assisted by numerous other musicians. Musically, he explores the territory between jarring noise, abstract electronics and textural/moody ambience and his work brings to mind anyone from Birthday Party to Big Black to Tim Buckley (had he stayed around for an industrial/punk era, as All Music Guide pointed out) and even the likes of Fennesz.

Camouflage-Heart-1984-150x150 Artist Profile - Cindytalk
Camouflage Heart - 1984

Sharp first made an appearance on This Mortal Coil’s debut – 1983 “Song For The Siren” EP (and he also contributed vocals to their 1984 “It Will End In Tears” LP).  Around the same time, he also started recording as Cindytalk an in 1984,Midnight Music label put out the band’s first recording – “Camouflage Heart” LP.

AMG commented on the album – “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.”

1988 brought “In This World” (which also came out on Wheelst) – the band’s second full-length.  The album was described as being ridden with the conflict of direction, according to AMG. While influenced by This Mortal Coil, it also contained “bludgeoning guitar riffs and harrowing vocal lines” and while “soothing and moody”, the second part of the album still sounded “occasionally disturbing”.

90s brought two more albums before the project was put on hold – 1990 “The Wind Is Strong” and 1995 “Wappinschaw” (which was originally recorded in 1992, but didn’t get a proper release at the time since the band’s label, Midnight Music, has folded) . Mid 90s also saw Gordon Sharp starting a new project called Bambule.

The-Wind-Is-Strong-1990-150x150 Artist Profile - Cindytalk
The Wind Is Strong - 1990

“The Wind Is Strong” was an atmospheric soundtrack to a movie called “Eclipse”, which was directed by UK filmmaker Ivan Unwin, but remains unreleased.  It was described as “Sparse ambient soundscape with occasional piano chords & natural sounds (birds, wind, running water, looped church bells, echoed piano, etc.).”

“Wappinschaw” was described by AMG as a “a fascinating, varied record” which fused together “brute aggressiveness and unexpected tenderness”. Further on, AMG suggested that record sounds like something that “Tim Buckley might have done had he been around for punk and industrial music.”

In 1996 Cindytalk did a US tour, which saw them playing two shows in Boston (one of which was done under the name “Lucinder”) and a number of other cities, including Washington DC, Cleveland and San Francisco. They were supported by Bowery Electric and Trance To The Sun.

The-Crackle-Of-My-Soul1-150x150 Artist Profile - Cindytalk
The Crackle Of My Soul - 2009

For remaining portion of the 90s, Sharp concentrated on Bambule (who released much of material on London based label Praxis). New millennium, however, saw him reviving the project. Cindytalk produced 2003 “Transgender Warrior / Guts Of London” 7-inch on Klanggalerie label,  2008 “Silver Shoals Of Light” 10″ on Bluesanct label and, finally, the band’s first full-length since “Wappinschaw” – 2009 “The Crackle Of My Soul” on Editions Mego label.

AMG pointed out “The Crackle” “marks a new transformation of Cindytalk’s sound, a new step in the abstraction of the group’s music”. Further on, they pointed out that “The sheer fact that it is released by Editions Mego (synonymous with glitch electronica and experimental noise) is a sign one shouldn’t ignore” and the album represents a “a gorgeous set of shimmering high frequencies, delicate rumblings, and obliterating white noise”.

Discography:

Camouflage Heart CD / LP (Midnight Music, 1984 / Touched, 1986 / Wheesht, 2007)

In This World CD / LP (Midnight Music, 1988 / Touched, 1995 / Wheesht, 2007)

The Wind Is Strong CD / LP (Midnight Music, 1990)

Cindytalk / Splintered Split 7″ (Fourth Dimension, 1991)

Secrets And Falling CD / 12″ (Midnight Music, 1991)

Prince Of Lies 7″ (Touched, 1994)

Wappinschaw CD / LP (Touched, 1995)

Transgender Warrior / Guts Of London 7″ (Klanggalerie, 2003)

Silver Shoals Of Light 10″ (Bluesanct, 2008)

The Crackle Of My Soul CD / CDr (Editions Mego, 2009)

Selected Compilation Tracks:

“Playtime” on Abstract Magazine Issue 5 (Sweatbox + Abstract Magazine, 1985)

“Splinter And Move” on Between Today And Tomorrow (Midnight Music, 1986)

“Empty Hand” on Sound From Hands (Minus Habens, 1992)

“Surrounded By Sky And The Stillness Of Time” on Ruines & Vanités (Meidosem, 2007)


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