Chrome Sparks Live + Interview
Chrome Sparks worked the crowd at Birthdays on Wednesday night last week like the world was going to run out of bass. You would never have known it was their first UK show; the room was packed and fully charged as they played with a mix of crowd pleasing confidence and modesty.
Opening with Your Planet, the boys harnessed the crowd’s attention, it’s complex layers of glok and beats prepared and warmed up the young East London congregation of electronic music lovers for what was to come.
Second song in, the crowd really started to move as the familiar samples in Sparks’ most well known track, Marijuana, filled the basement. The bass was so unbelievably overwhelming I could feel it pulsating in my nipples, AND I liked it. I was probably thinking about my nipples as there was a bunch of naked ballerina’s on screen behind the American boys: visuals are a new addition to the live show courtesy of one of Malvern’s old and creative friends.
Send The Pain On has the crowd slow dancing without partners, and I’m pretty sure there would have been lighters in the air if smoking was still allowed in clubs. They played the remix of Gemini’s Robots live for the first time (and later I tell him this is in my sex playlist, to which his band mates laugh). What? It’s dang sexy.
Before the boys had even left the stage sweaty people were hollering for encores, and we didn’t have to wait long. Another massive bassy new track – and yet to be named number – came booming from the speakers. The way people responded to this new material was unbelievable. I myself even had a bit of a slo-mo twerk despite owning a sad excuse of a white girl’s bottom and an average size pair of tits. It was HUGE.
Chrome Sparks live is Jeremy Malvin and his friends Bill and Jesse. They’re a bunch of really friendly lads clad in paisley shirts totally humbled by the experience of being on the road and especially having the chance to leave the USA and Canada. The trio are no strangers to sofas, floors and unsavoury accommodation while on tour. But as Jesse tells me, ‘you’re surrounded by some of the greatest people when you’re on the road.’
Later, as I’m sat watching Malvin’s pack his kit away, he tells me how the sample in Marijuana is from a disco track from ’79 by Idris Muhammad called Could Heaven Ever Be Like This. (Very groovy shit)
‘I put it into Ableton, cut it up, slowed it down…I’m pretty shocked how popular it is. I spent less time on it than any other track.’
While Malvin’s early musical obsessions lie in disco, his roots are in classical music. ‘I went to school for classical percussion and spent the majority of life playing youth symphonies.’ But it’s French house – Justice, Breakbot and the Ed Banger crew – and artists like Aphex Twin who have really influenced in the creations of Chrome Sparks.
‘The Dirty Projectors are favourite band of all time. But they’re not an influence as they’re so different to the music I make.’
With a a cheeky grin he talks about how he’d love to make music with Washed Out and a saxophonist called Kenny G. And his his proudest moment? Rather than a story involving some epic live show, or remixing some amazing artists (Flume, Chet Faker etc) he tells me a story about a girl who during her interview to get into school, told the Alumni interviewer (which happened to be a friend of his mum’s) that she was really into Chrome Sparks. And thus the story worked its way back to him, making him smile and feel pretty happy with himself.
This new material the crowd of this set were treated to is from an EP not due out until January or February (a little unfair to make us wait that long). ‘I started making an EP, and ended up with another EP’ he laughs. ‘One is big and bassy. The other is disco.’ Bass? Disco? Either way Mr Sparks, I’m gagging for it. Judging by the crowd at Birthdays, I’m not the only one.
Catch Chrome Sparks last tour dates in Europe:
5/9 Stop The Bus – Bristol
6/9 Bestival (DJ set)
7/9 Razzmatazz – Barcelona
And this lot in the states…