Music

Introducing: Sparkspitter

Honestly, genres are shithouse. I understand they help people comprehend and discuss music, but they compartmentalise the wide expanse of sounds, and stifle innovation. And it really really hurts me intellectually, that I’m writing about music and conforming to a role, when music writers writing for douchey music magazines are the ones who reach up their own arse and pull out a shitty name to apply to the next band that dares to defy genre restrictions.

Doesn’t matter how good or accurate it is, it just has to stick. I mean, System of a Down are said to play ‘alternative metal’. That just means different. If the lug nut who thought that up was thrown into the chimp enclosure at the zoo, he or she would only be second smartest in that enclosure.

sparkspitter

Sparkspitter’s octave-up, polyrhythmic technical roboticism is a feat that needs to be seen to be believed. Or just heard. Yeah, just listen for now I guess.

So imagine my disdain when I learnt that that ‘math rock’ had nothing to do with maths. Math rock (or maths rock as it should be called) is instead named for unusual, oddly-timed rhythms that stop and start like a cargo truck driving in the city. There’s nothing about pocket calculators, the compound interest formula, rational numbers, hairy ball theorem or even counting numbers.

Luckily, South Australian sonic mathemagicians Sparkspitter come out on top of these genre naming shenanigans. Their songs come across as if every sound is intended, perfected by relentless computer modelling and philosophical inquiry inspired by Derrida, the high-pitched guitar strumming and drumming being tuned to a point. In fact, they may be the aural equivalent of that creepy basement goblin who spent years conceptualising and building the perfect SimCity city.

Having said that though, there is an enduring emotional element to the bands’ robotic rhythms, with their standout composition Courtrock resembling a cryptic Ouroboros. Each instrument is set on its own sonic traipse, but together as a band they sweep in and around each other’s rhythms, and this tightly-strung aural compound exits the musical sausage machine as scrumptious psychedelic salami. But yet, their music hangs like an art piece, supervised by an eagle-eyed and perfectly dressed museum attendant, invisible beams detecting any spacial infraction – you must not touch!

Sparkspitter have released about a dozen songs lying around on their Bandcamp and Soundcloud, their last one coming out just over three months ago, but they’re about to release an album, TECHNE during this coming spring (also anticipate heaps more tour dates than the solitary one I have below, closer to the date). Which should be pretty sweet. I also just saw on their Facebook that they like Jon Hopkins. These guys are really cool. Go check em out

Tour Dates

Wednesday, 10th September
The Waiting Room, Brisbane (BIGSOUND Live)

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