Exposé Online banner

Amstrong — Sprinkler
(Clearspot EFA CD 05413 P, 1999, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2001-03-01

Sprinkler Cover art

Amstrong hail from Copenhagen, and are often compared to massive Attack and Portishead, but I don’t hear much of that. Their sound is a strange mixture of very artificial and organic, with samples of guitar distortion forming the basis for several songs, and rhythm provided by looped drums, often heavily distorted. Techno-ish synthesizers make occasional appearances, but given the un-techno setting, they become just another part of the arranged noise. I suppose describing the music as “arranged noise” would give the impression that the sound is harsh or abrasive, but Amstrong is actually rather pleasant to listen to much of the time (though I admit Burt Bacharach fans would probably disagree). A singer named Marie Louise provides some melody and structure otherwise lacking, with a voice similar to Lou Rhodes of Lamb, though not quite as jazzy or affected. Moods range from lazy to fairly intense, and never sink into any semblance of disco – four-on-the-floor dance grooves are conspicuously absent. I even hear a hint of psychedelia, courtesy of a bit of wah-wah and some echoed vocals, but maybe I’m taking that too far. This band is truly unique and it’s very difficult to put into words any idea what the net effect of the sound is.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 21, 1999 releases

Related artist(s): Amstrong

Latest news

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more

2020-01-15
Carlos Alvarado RIP – Carlos Alvarado, pioneering composer, multi-instrumentalist and pioneer of progressive rock and electronic experimental music in Mexico, passed away January 14th, 2020 at age 68 after a two year battle with cancer.  » Read more

2020-01-12
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more

2020-01-12
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more

2020-01-10
Neil Peart RIP – One of rock music's defining drummers has died at the age of 67. Neil Peart's work with Rush provided one of the templates for percussion in rock, and he certainly ranks in the top ten most influential drummers of the 20th Century. Peart retired from playing in 2015 due to health issues, and succumbed to brain cancer on January 7, 2020. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

The Muffins - Chronometers – A strange release at first glance. One CD, 70 plus minutes, 21 tracks, one track is 23 minutes long. Hmmm. This is a compilation of outtakes and general weirdness from 1975. The Muffins are often...  (1993) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues