Michael C Sharp

Texan rocker moves downtempo

Who they?

Now a central figure in the experimental electronic scene in Austin, Texas, Michael C Sharp initially gravitated toward the heavier end of the spectrum. The multi-instrumentalist previously held down the drum-stool slot for various punk bands and formed local psych collective Sungod. They were signed to HoloDeck, a label boasting a strong stable of electronic artists including the ‘Stranger Things’ soundtrackers S U R V I V E, which was the perfect place for Sharp to park the solo synth efforts he began releasing back in 2013.

Why Michael C Sharp?

Listening to his 2020 single ‘Motor, Pt 2: White Lines’ alongside newer releases reveals how gracefully Sharp has downshifted from Hawkwind territory to the more hypnotic grooves of classic Neu! albums. Sharp’s latest double cassette collection, titled ‘Private Tape Vol 4’, pushes his sound further into ambient territory, as the seven tracks often clock in at well over 10 minutes. The textures here are rich, nuanced and melodic, and manage to be soothing while being thoroughly engaging. Even the shortest track – a sub-three-minute arpeggio workout called ‘Time That Sticks Together’ –dead-centres the bullseye.

Tell us more…

Having still not succumbed to the Eurorack rabbit hole, most of Sharp’s work is built from a Korg Minilogue, the Rhodes-like Yamaha Reface CP and a 1990s vintage Boss DR-660. Yet some of his more triumphant moments undoubtedly come when he reaches for an electric six-string to complement his work. His ‘Synth Vehicles For Guitar’ album is epic, and it’s when you get further into the more cinematic elements that you are most enthralled. The hardcore motorik cuts such as ‘Eliminator’ and the previously mentioned ‘Motor, Pt 2’ only help to seal the deal.

‘Private Tape Vol 4’ is out now

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