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Chrome Sparks

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Live Review: Meishi Smile at The Echo 1/22

The pikachu backpack threw a lot of people off, including a couple who stood left of The Echo's stage. Earlier, Nylo had lulled the audience with ease despite being a last-minute add. She lulled me, too. An indigo summer bathed the alt-R&B singer as bodies swayed to her glass notes. So when Meishi Smile set up, half of the crowd were none the wiser. Hidden among chillwave hopefuls, Zoom Lens' cult following showed their true colors as Nadia Ulerich sat, fingers curled like a full lotus and a masked Lindsay Anne drew out the gong. Obscured by a black lace veil, Garrett began and people were grounded, some wounded by its immediacy — noise and synth, autotune and scream. But in the din of cyberpunk closer "...Belong", they understood. Briefly.

Survivors and the sated scanned their surroundings as Jeremy Malvin took the stage. And together, they entered the chrome forest. Need more be said? - Ryan Mo, photo credit: Joey Tobin

 

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Electronic noisepop Meishi Smile announces tour dates with Chrome Sparks

Like a black hole, digital punk Garrett Yim distorts the boundaries of pop and noise; their binary opposition has always been a subject of interest to the California native. Raised in Anaheim Hills, Yim fashioned harsh sounds under the moniker Yuko Imada, taken previously by a late-'80s Japanese serial killer. Following Yuko Imada's cacophonic denouement Roppongi Nightlife, Yim reappeared in 2014 as Meishi Smile, and has pervaded the digital space with a musical aesthetic that mixes shibuya-kei and shoegaze.

While Meishi Smile's album debut LUST flickered pink noise with overcast picopop, 2015's fall follow-up ...Belong erodes saccharine gestures with a downpour of static. Ten provocative songs explore youth, death, dysphoria, and identity through the eyes and ears of a digital native.

Catch Meishi Smile supporting the Western tail of Chrome Sparks tour this week, and listen to "Belong". You can still win tickets to the sold-out Echo show; follow @MeishiSmile on Twitter for more details. - Ryan Mo, photo credit: Anthony Thompson

1/20 Vancouver, BC @ Fortune Sound Club

1/21 Seattle, WA @ Barboza

1/22 Los Angeles @ The Echo (Sold Out)

1/23 San Francisco @ Monarch

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Chrome Sparks keeps New Years Resolution + plays Webster Hall on 04.03

Chrome Sparks is the moniker of classical percussionist turned synth-and-sample master Jeremy Malvin. Malvin started his career in Ann Arbor, MI and has since toured extensively, drumming for bands such as Miniature Tigers and playing festivals under Chrome Sparks; he now resides in Brooklyn, where he produces lavish and intricately textured soundscapes. More than being good to dance to, Malvin’s soundscapes encourage synesthesia — the beats and fabrics are so clear and tactile it is difficult not to experience sights or even tastes. Every song is a self-sufficient habitat. In 2014 Chrome Sparks released an EP entitled Goddess, toured North America and Australia, and kept a new years resolution to eat lunch with a different person every day of the year. The ambitious lunch project is all documented here. Chrome Sparks’ next NYC show will be on April 3rd at Webster Hall.

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Steffaloo teams up with Chrome Sparks on “Eyes For You”

Bedroom folk pop darling, Steffaloo, is set to release her sophmore full length, 'Heart Beats' on Mush Records Oct 29. It’s a quick follow up to the hushed, dreamy debut ‘Would You Stay’ released last October. This time around, she is ditching the ukelele for a fully electronic approach. Each song on ‘Heart Beats’ features a collaboration with a different producer. The first single, “Eyes for You,” has Steffaloo teaming up once again with Chrome Sparks. Past success adding her ethereal vocals to tracks by artists like Blackbird Blackbird and xxyyxx, mean she is giving those fans what they have been craving. It’s an impressive undertaking, and from the sound of “Eyes for You,” a worthwhile one. The mind-bending, glitchy dreamscape takes Steffaloo’s voice to a new, more sultry and mature place, that has me itching to hear the rest of the album. - Jacqueline Caruso

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