Kent Sparling - "Leaf Spring"
(Purling/Jicama Salad Company 2003, OOCM-819)

Uploaded to Aural Innovations: July 2004

Kent Sparling is a visual and recording artist living on the Northern California coast. During his years with Transform Systems he hand-built custom Serge Modular synthesizers for Richie Hawtin, John McEntire, Cevin Key and many others. He has produced albums for Eyeland, Gunner Madsen and Vanessa Lowe, and engineered or mixed records by Handsome Poets, Neville-Crotty-Sparling and the Apes of God. Music from his first solo album, "Route Canal Diary", was included in the soundtrack to the Canadian NFB documentary "In the Flesh".

On to the review... my cat Stinky usually starts flippin out when she hears good muscic but now she's just hangin out on the bed. The music is Nice, AtmospheeRic, it has recorded rain... my wife Sharon says it's pretty music, I don't know if Stinky likes it yet? Sharon says there's not much to set this apart from any other music of this genre, that the description of how the music was made is more interesting than the music itself. Kent is a film re-recording mizer and sound designer at George Lucas' Skywalker Sound, with recent credits on "Adaptation" , "CQ" and "Lost in Translation". "Leaf Spring" is his third album. Considering this I would expect a cleaner sounding, better mixed cd. It says that this cd is five songs, each with two mixes, but I can't tell which is which? Kent states that the pieces on "Leaf Spring" are created in the style of 'system music', when the composers set up complex interplay between many simple subsystems creating or modifying sound elements. Many of the controlling elements in the systems come from unpredictable or random sources, such as microphones placed outdoors, or photosensors under partially shaded ground below a fores canopy. Doesn't Kent know the Doors have a song titled Horse Latitudes? In places it reminds me of Twin Peaks music. Kent goes on to say that these examples represent an underlying theme in his music, which is the intersection of electric technologies and the organic, natural world-man-made control and natural unpredictability. Sharon says this is music you could meditate to; a high compliment.

For more information you can visit the Jicama Salad Company web site at:
Email at:
Contact via snail mail c/o Purling/Jicama Salad Company; PO Box 7333; Berkeley, CA 94707-7333.

Reviewed by Carlton Crutcher

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