Category: By the bug

''His first album in around five years, Steve Jefferis returns to Expanding with a brand new long-player. Having taken a hiatus from Cathode, Jefferis has in the meantime participated in the Matinee Orchestra project and the Warm Digits, but it's certainly good to have him fully operational once again, spouting his timelessly warm, tuneful electronica across an hour's worth of music. The title, Sparkle Plenty, is derived from Jefferis' day-job as a clinical psychologist and is a phrase used to describe the behaviour of children whose apparent exuberance masks more melancholic emotions underneath. You can immediately see how this applies to Cathode's music, pieces like 'Another Wish' amply demonstrate an implicitly maudlin quality at the heart of this music, however upbeat and perky kiddie-krautrock outings like 'Structure Hunger' might convey themselves. 'Without Memory Or Desire' is another fine example of the subtle emotional landscape of this record, crackling with a dignified gloominess, and the closing track 'Nightly Builds' goes further still, drawing acoustic instrumentation up to the surface and keeping time with the metronomic ticking of a clock's pendulum. A very fine album from the ever-consistent Expanding and a great return to solo recording for Cathode.''

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