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Live Review: Chrome Sparks 'Parallelism' EP

17 November 2015 | 1:30 pm | Katie Rowley

Chrome Sparks' Parallelism EP is a short three-track affair. It’s received love from Bonobo and Rob da Bank, and rightly so.

CHROME SPARKS was born in Squirrel Hill. He now lives in Brooklyn. He’s only 22. That was largely unimportant information, I just wanted to get the words Squirrel Hill into a sentence. What is important, is that the 22 year old producer from Squirrel Hill has a new EP out.

Parallelism takes its lead from his previous Sparks and Goddess EP's; like these earlier offerings, Parallelism is also a short three-track affair. It’s been receiving love from Bonobo and Radio 1’s Rob da Bank, and rightly so. It’s a sweet little trio of stonkers.

First up we’ve got ‘Moonraker’, a light and blippy track like R2D2 at a Tetris rave. The gentle ‘mmmmmhmmmmm’s build on this theme before breaking down into a precise piano chord section; it then picks back up where we left off with R2D2 at the Tetris rave, but by now the drugs have kicked in a little.

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According to Chrome Sparks’ Twitter (the very edgy crm*spx), the song was made using a Minimoog model D, Roland Juno-60, a custom modular synthesizer, and field recordings.

‘Give It Up’, the second track, hints strongly of Todd Terje’s excellent ‘It’s Album Time’ in terms of scope and scale, slowly and assuredly building up the multiple keyboard layers and symmetrical synth beats with a few welcome laser jabs on top. It’s an urgent, apocalyptic track that would make a great background for a nighttime drive.

‘Moonraker’ and ‘Give It Up’ are merely the warm ups for the grande finale that is ‘Ride The White Lightening’. Made entirely with his Minimoog, a monophonic analogue synthesizer that was used by the likes of 70s techno pioneers Kraftwerk, Chrome Sparks’ track certainly has a Germanic feel to it.

Industrial driving rhythms and repetitive hooks benefit from a catchy top melody – it’s a big noisy hands in the air number with an explosive kaleidoscopic quality. A dark but familiar tone means that this is one to really lose yourself in for a minute. Well, 9 minutes actually, it’s a long one.

You can grab Chrome SparksParallelism EP here.

Words by Katie Rowley