Introducing: Chrome Sparks

Chrome Sparks promo photo

Press releases have this reputation for being wordy, impenetrable and usually vastly overblown. Chrome Sparks and his team are evidently on a mission to put that right: when I contacted them for more information, I received a whopping one hundred and sixty-eight character’s worth of feedback, for a total of thirty-one words. To give credit where it’s due, there was very little fluff. I don’t normally reproduce press content verbatim – largely for the reasons outlined at the start – but in this case I hope you’ll forgive an exception.

Jeremy Malvin grew up in Pittsburgh, then moved to Ann Arbor to study percussion. Now he just hangs and makes beats in Ann Arbor when he isn’t playing drums for Stepdad.

I’ve taken the liberty of capitalising and adding an extra comma. It’s an admirable commitment to the “less is more” school of thought.

His music is slightly more expansive, painting pictures with vintage synth sounds and more contemporary sliced-and-diced vocals. A number of his tracks feature Steph Thompson, a.k.a. Steffaloo (a One To Watch of ours from nearly a year ago), on vocals – although if you think she gets away without having her voice warped almost beyond recognition, think again. The overall effect is pretty hard to pin down, mixing nursery-rhyme compositions (“All There Is” a particular case in point) with retro electro instrumentation.

He’s at his best when Steffaloo features; elsewhere, the palette quickly becomes predictable. If you’re a fan of blips and bloops – and I am – chances are you’ll still find plenty to enjoy. For people with a preference for melody over texture, or who view vocals as a vehicle for lyricism rather than digital tomfoolery, it’s less likely to inspire much love. Likewise, the songs benefit from live performance, at which point Chrome Sparks transforms from a lone endeavour to a five-piece band. In that vein, if you’re unsure, check out his recent Daytrotter session before you make your mind up.

There’s a new EP, “Surface Glows”, due in the near future. Both of the tasters released so far, “Still Sleeping” and “So Far 2 Go”, feature Steffaloo, which bodes well. Not only that, they’re both excellent tracks in their own right – assuming, as I say, that this kind of vibe is your thing. Personally, I’m looking forward to the release. You can check out remixes and Jeremy’s previous EP, “My <3″, via the links, or stream some highlights below.

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