It seems like the last 18 months have been a hell of a ride for the Australian kraut- math- post- experimental- rock chimera that is Sparkspitter…
After receiving a grant from ARTS SA the band set out to manage the release of their debut album. Instruments were recorded over the course of a year, and a handful of interesting overdubs (vibraphone, glockenspiel, ebow, and strings) were added throughout the year. The tracks were sent to Aaron Cupples (The Drones, Standish/Carlyon, and Snowman) in London for mixing, probably around the same time that the band were constructing and curating a bizarre wooden monument for a dizzying video clip. Following mixing, the album was sent to Sarah Register in New York for mastering. After a year of jet-setting, the final product, TECHNÊ, can finally be heard right here on Fecking Bahamas.
We’ve always had a thing for Sparkspitter, and we knew that describing TECHNÊ was always going to be a arduous endeavor. It was going to be like describing colour to a blind person. The sounds, moods and tones in previous releases had always been diverse and eclectic, usually leaving our writers in a self-satisfied state of bewilderment. The sparkling staccato guitar tones and rattling percussion bears similarity with the bouncy and eccentric propensities of bands like Battles and And So I Watch You From Afar, yet at other times the dreamy reverberation and melodic core of songs distill a more ethereal side to Sparkspitter, akin to bands like toe and Mono.
TECHNÊ is exactly this, but richer. The softer first half of the record reintroduces Sparkspitter as soundscape architects, where the pithy textures of tracks like ‘Hello Meteor’ and ‘Bascient’ (featuring Katie and Angela Schilling from SWIMMING) are set to stand in a soothing ambience that is multidimensional but never cacophonous. TECHNÊ‘s more hi-octane latter half showcases the more vivacious side of Sparkspitter, encompassed in tracks like ‘Vortechné’ and the quirky chime-fest ‘Vandalis’. Aaron Cupple’s mixing remains impeccable throughout. The percussion is crisp, the bass is deep and crunchy, and the guitars sound like toy music boxes being plucked away by steel combs.
Sparkspitter’s soft yet constantly zig-zagging instrumental work has certainly entered a new echelon here. As its name implies, TECHNÊ is mechanical art; it is a rollercoaster through an captivating landscape, at times placid and idyllic, at other times upbeat and rambunctious. We hope you enjoy it as much as we have.
You can pre-order TECHNÊ on vinyl and digital formats via Sparkspitter’s bandcamp page.
Sparkspitter will play the Adelaide leg of Laneway Festival in February. Tickets and info are here.