I Am David Sparkle
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I Am David Sparkle

Singapore, Singapore, Singapore | SELF

Singapore, Singapore, Singapore | SELF
Band Rock Metal


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"The Dark Arts Of David Sparkle"

Singapore's long serving post rock quartet I Am David Sparkle talks girls, football and ghosts. Oh, and a little music too.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BlvsnTmKRyQ - NYLON

"7 soundtracks for S'pore's landmarks"

The initiative in Singapore is a collaboration between Musicity and the British Council. -myp

Wed, Jun 13, 2012
my paper

I Am David Sparkle, a post-rock band which has played at the South By Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas, is composing a tune for the Asian Civilisations Museum.
If you think you've seen it all and done it all when it comes to visiting famous Singapore locales, think again.

Come October, there will be a new way for visitors to experience seven of Singapore's landmarks - through home-grown music.

Then, locations ranging from the Esplanade to the Art Science Museum will be getting their very own soundtracks, composed by home-grown acts.

Each site will have its own soundtrack, which visitors can stream via their smartphones, thanks to a mobile app.

The initiative in Singapore is a collaboration between Musicity - a London-based project by music curator Nick Luscombe and creative strategist Simon Jordan - and the British Council. Singapore is the third city after London and Tokyo to be chosen for a Musicity project. Along with the partnership, British recording artists Jon Hopkins and Mara Carlyle will also collaborate with two of the local acts.

"Cities are full of busy people... My hope is that Singaporeans will take five minutes to stop, listen to the music created for each location, see the city in a new way and be inspired by what they feel," Mr Luscombe, 46, told my paper in an e-mail interview.

To help select the Singapore line-up, Mr Luscombe and the British Council teamed up with music producer Cherry Chan, who is part of the audio-visual collective Syndicate.

"The artists chosen have represented Singapore in overseas festivals and are on a par with many international acts," said Ms Chan, 30, of the selection.

For instance, post-rock band I Am David Sparkle, which has played at the South By Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas, is composing a tune for the Asian Civilisations Museum (ACM).

And turntablist Wayne Liu, aka DJ KoFlow - who has travelled to countries such as Britain to DJ - will create a track for the School Of The Arts.

The artists are certainly excited about the project.

Electronic artist Mei Wong, who creates music under the moniker The Analog Girl, is responsible for the soundtrack for the Hong San See Temple in Mohamed Sultan Road. The 38-year-old will be collaborating with a small ensemble from the Singapore Chinese Orchestra, to incorporate traditional instrumentation with modern synthesizer sounds.

She is looking to create a "rapturous and euphoric" track for the landmark, she told my paper.

Besides Hong San See, two other heritage sites - namely the ACM and the Singapore Art Museum - will have music composed for them. The three sites were proposed by the Preservation of Monuments Board (PMB).

"We want to help raise the profile of these heritage landmarks and encourage new audiences to visit and learn about their significance. With the Musicity programme, we can reach out to new groups of people," said Ms Jean Wee, director of PMB.
- AsiaOne / mypaper

"I Am David Sparkle: Sparkling Stars"

As loud as its moniker screams, I Am David Sparkle is a band that demands for its presence to be heard and felt.

This rocking quartet is no stranger to our local experiential rock scene, being the pioneers of our nation’s post–rock instrumental genre, and having performed in a myriad of regional and international music events.

What makes I Am David Sparkle stand out, besides its monstrous presence and sound, is the fact that the band creates intrinsic, emotionally charged music without any lyrics.

Through distinct musical movements which encompass a variety of human emotions and experiences, the absence of words in their music invites its listeners to delve deep into the sound, and sink right into their soul in search of their own personal meanings and thoughts to be imposed on the music. In this metaphorical sense, music is lyrically, and literally, a medium of communication for, and to, the masses.

Fronted by guitarist Amran Khamis, the band of four consisting of Djohan Johari (guitar), Farizan Fajari (bass), and Zahir Sanosi (drums), rocked the main stage of the annual Singapore Arts Festival 2012.

“Tonight, we’re just a noisy band, trying to play out softer songs.” revealed Amran, as he prepared the crowd for the heart-stirring journey that they were about to embark on.

Following this, the band dived into “Fear Of Heights”, a featured song in the band’s album released in 2010. Marked by loud crashes, heavily distorted guitar riffs, and tight bass lines, the gig was swiftly launched into an explosive start, before regressing into a slow, dreamy rhythm, which had our hearts enthralled right from the beginning.

On a closer listen, one could tell that the dynamics of a song was brilliantly constructed by the band. The gentle, regressive rhythm was accompanied by sweet melodic lead notes, which was akin to the soft, but increasingly harsh pounding of a frightened heart, as one can possibly envision himself slowly rising higher and higher, before exploding into an extremely intensive soundscape; mirroring the rise and fall from an impressive height.

Claiming that “everyone needs a love song” in their lives, Amran then announced that the band will be playing a “slightly slower song” next.

Titled “Everybody Loves Somebody”, the song began with a gentle, soothing intro which sent a chilling aura amidst the crowd, causing our hearts to flutter with every strum, every pluck of the guitar.

It was simply astounding; the musical aptitude with which the band poured out displayed an uncanny ability to encapsulate emotions such as love, fear, and anxiety with instrumentals alone. There was no need for any words – just raw music which counselled its audience, and calmed their distraught spirits.

Love was never a stranger, the moment IADS came on; we were clearly in love with the band and the sounds that they produced that evening.

Following this, the band delved into “Wild Horses”, a short song, in which powerhouse drummer Zahir forged an authoritative rhythm. Despite his burly size, he still possessed the tremendous ability to drum swiftly, as evident in the wild flailing of arms in numerous directions. Tirelessly, and mercilessly attacking the drums for a harsh rhythm, his crazed, intensive beats paid tribute to the heavy edge of the band’s hardcore genre.

Soon after, beats from the electronic drum kit boomed over the acoustics, while the guitars joined in with subtle guitar licks. These went on for minutes, before Zahir kicked in with drum teasers on the hi-hats, and then altogether, as though perfectly timed, the band blasted into an intense, invigorating song titled “Dance of Death”.

Interestingly, there were a group of fans who, evidently appreciative of the music, gathered into a corner and started throwing their bodies in cohesion with the rhythm of the music played. The scene was a bewilderment initially. However, more and more people desired to experience IADS physically, and thus joined the group. Perhaps, they too could be described as dancing in laughter and joy.

The mini flash mosh pit served as a encouragement for the band, as they were pleased to watch the effervescence of their music being manifested into an act of celebration amidst the audience.

“This next song, is for you guys!” exclaimed Amran, as he pointed to the dancing congregation, before the guitars launched into the morbid distortions of “Alien Catcher”. The creepy, mangled sounds produced seemingly symbolized the elements of spaciness in their music; its effect clearly overwhelming, as manifested in the disjointed movements of the dancing group, who were enacting alien-like behaviours.

Throughout the gig, the experience seemed so surreal, that I felt compelled for my mind to dwell into the depth of music. Closing my eyes, consciously rocking out to the music; yet, I allowed for the music to take me into another dimension, where I knew that nothing else mattered.

Just as I Am David Sparkle’ - moshin magazine

"Interview: I Am David Sparkle"

Chin Hui Wen speaks with Djohan Johari, who does guitar work, effects and keys for instrumental collective, I Am David Sparkle. He shares the band’s influences, outlook on the local scene and why they see practice sessions as hang out time and tours as holidays.

Who has influenced your music?
Personally, I like Gustavo Santaolalla. The Verve and Doves have also been driving influences. We played a show with Knellt and seeing them live has definitely shaped how we write our material.

How has the local music scene changed since you first started?
There are more YouTube artists now.

Do you think there’s enough support for young musicians starting out?
There’s definitely growing support. But I also think musicians should empower themselves by creating their own platforms to perform and showcase their music.

How has your music changed since you first started out?
We will always have a soft spot for sweet melodies but at the same time, we're also trying to quench our thirst for a heavier regime.

What was the best gig you’ve ever played?
ZoukOut had the best sound check. For actual gigs themselves, the turnout for our launch show at the Esplanade was fantastic.

Have you ever had any embarrassing moments on stage?
We’ve had shows where everything didn't work for us—sound, equipment and other technical difficulties. Fortunately, that hasn’t affected us too negatively. It just makes us want to do better.

Being in a band can be tiring, what keeps you going?
The band is our escape from the daily grind. It's a time when we meet and have a good laugh, a nice supper and just bask in each other's company. I see our practice sessions as hang out time and tours as holidays. It's nice to share new experiences with your loved ones.

What’s next for you?
We're hitting the studio soon to record new releases—either split releases with friends, or just on our own. We’re going for a heavier sound and will be adding more substance to our material. - I-S Magazine, Singapore

"I Am David Sparkle - This Is The New -- 6/10"

The antithesis of my association of cuckoo clocks with Switzerland would be my disassociation of post-rock with Singapore. Not to fall foul of sweeping generalizations or anything of the like, but honesty is the best policy right? However, all that might just be about to change. Formed in 2001 and inspired by love, life, and beauty, I Am David Sparkle’s line-up has been molded throughout the years by various members splintered from punk, hardcore, and indie backgrounds to form the formidable quartet they are today. Their catchy moniker is a direct literal translation from the name of the famous Malaysian singing legend M. Daud Kilau - a sixty something crooner/eastern Elvis who recently made the headlines for allegations that he sodomized his nineteen year old assistant. Hmm, this is not a press-pack tidbit l wager.

Having received the accolade of ‘Best Alternative Act’ at the Motorola Super Style Mix Music Awards in 2007, the ministry of Sparkle have just released their first full length album, This Is The New. Preceded only by the 2006 self released Apocalypse of Your Heart EP (review) these seven tracks display a varied spectrum of influence and instrumental acumen. The traditional post-rock traits are present but with spaghettied electro-curious tendencies; a lick of digital paint spatters the canvass, adding charm and character.

The mood is one of peaks and troughs scaling a myriad shades of emotion, but not to the point of becoming boringly formulaic. Yes, there is evidence of contraband in the form of pilfered primary colors from bands of yesteryear, but the Sparkle put their own twist on these traits in a simplistic yet effective manner. They offer a chameleon blend of electro-flecked percussion interweaved with a now infamous and ubiquitous trademark post rock guitar sound, intricately chipped and tempered into patchwork audio. This Is The New skims sub-genres and winks coquettishly at a varied palette of influence. The band have researched and explored their boundaries here, showing diversity and understanding of texture and mood.

Opening with “The Way Of The Universe,� the album immerses us in a frangible and fuzzy guitar sound. The misleading intro riff bursts into urgent splashing percussion that takes no prisoners, amalgamating in hooks, flurries, and engine-revving bass runs. This is the confident sound of organised chaos and a band comfortable in its own skin -- a promising and entertaining introduction and nothing like I expected! The frenzy subsides to the muffled siren and vibrato contemplation of “Do You Cry While You Sleep,� a languid and lazy piece like a self-medicated sunrise frilled with pleasing piano, subtle guitar, and door-knock snare work. It's a complete downturn in mood and tempo, but also a bit early methinks for such an abrupt change. Lacking the hook of the opener, the track loses my interest a little, only to be caught by the hypnic jerks (those twitches you get just before you fall asleep) of “Jaded Afghan.� Ambient synths, tinny static hiss, and an irregular heartbeat metronome punctuate this purgatory of lost dial tones. It is an intriguing addition -- I’m not quite sure what to expect next as the terrain quickly changes and is unpredictable.

A simmering disquiet broods in “There Is No Time For Love, Only Chaos� which explodes in a raucous fervour. At 7 minutes 55 seconds, it’s the longest and darkest track on the album, and one that will definitely please the inveterate fuzz-monger. This midpoint is also the pedestal for the manual percussionist, i.e. the drummer to remind us he’s still alive. The heavier tracks appear to be positioned as spokes or pillars throughout the beginning, midpoint, and end of This Is The New offering a canopy for the timid moments in between.

An endearing & quasi-instrumental ditty “If I Never Come Back� offers reprieve after the previous maelstrom and once again exposes the band's soft underbelly, why this was cut so short is beyond me as it’s quite good. Shades of the infamous Texan mute troubadours shimmer in “Dance Of Death� which follows suit with a subtle electro influence almost like an unfinished remix. Hairs at the back of my neck stand up when the distortion kicks in - it’s a toss up between the opener and this for best track on the album. And finally we come to “All There Is To It,� quite an apt title as the percussion evanesces and heralds the end for now – once more the world is still but for the inexorable passing of life’s nanoseconds. Nevertheless, a slight hint of premature evacuation hangs in the stillness…

Schizophrenic audio sketches or a varicolored encomium? Whatever the case may be at just under 34 minutes it’s short but does throw up a few pearls. The variables are there, yet rather than punching holes in the sky This Is The New burbles out to a simmer, fades, and slinks away. I just get the feeling it lacked one more concerted push to break cloud - The Silent Ballet

"Review: 'Swords' - I Am David Sparkle -- 3.5 / 5 stars"

Post-rock kills, in both senses of the word. Singapore band I Am David Sparkle have the temerity to dive, head first, into something that could redeem or repel.

They don’t do things by halves: ‘Swords’ – their follow-up to 2007’s ‘This Is The New’, rachets up the intensity and doesn’t relent till it reaches nirvana. Th...e result is an epic, circuitous, sometimes clichéd, but often illuminating journey.

The opener “Wild Horses” begins like a fuzzy dream, awash with galloping drums and Slash-like riffs. But for all the metallic din, it’s the sursurrus of the 8 ½ minute “Everybody Loves Somebody” that exemplifies the greatest growth. The song segues midway into a stellar, all-lights-on-heaven where angels weep. Slow and soft can be soporific in less sturdy hands, but in this case, it’s incredibly moving.

Review by Yeow Kai Chai, The Straits Times’ Life! 10 Dec 2010. - The Straits Times, Singapore

"An Interview With I Am David Sparkle"

One of the pioneers in the instrumental post-rock scene in Singapore, I Am David Sparkle takes its name from a tongue-in-cheek anglicisation of popular ’70s Malaysian disco king, M. Daud Kilau. Their music however, is an entirely different beast. Best recognised for their hypnotic, dark sounds falling into the categories of indie, shoegaze and post-rock, talent sees no lack in the band- talented musicians, designers and illustrators with great personalities to match. RCGNTN talks to Amran and Zahir about I Am David Sparkle, their views on the local climate and their latest release, Swords.

Share with us some brief history about I Am David Sparkle.

Zahir Sanosi (ZS): We all were playing in other hardcore, metal and indie bands back then and we decided to get together and play something different. As far I as can remember, the whole 9-10 years have been the greatest times of my life.

Amran Khamis (AK): Ours is not such a brief history considering the number of years we have played together, so it’s actually a long story… But ultimately what we are today is the story of years of experimentation and hard work by the band, influence of past members that have spent time with us, and those that support us in different ways.

How did you guys get started with music?

AK: Boys in my primary school got me to listen to rock music which we couldn’t hear on the radio then – stuff like Kiss, Motley Crue, Skid Row and the like. Then I discovered indie and punk music in my early secondary years and got completely hooked! I wasn’t great at skateboarding, and soccer got me nowhere, so I turned to guitar to make as much noise and youthful rebellion as I could back when I was 14. Playing in bands was soon a natural progression.

ZS: I have to thank my Toa Payoh boys and childhood friends for sharing with me early thrash metal and hardcore bands. Hail! Ram Singh and Noel Sanjay Zacheus! I had also fronted a hardcore band once or twice, and have been drumming with I Am David Sparkle since it’s existence.

What are your inspirations and influences, and how has it shaped your sound?

ZS: In terms of music, we all listen to everything from hip-hop to black metal, but we would get our inspiration from specific genres of music. But this doesn’t mean that we don’t work hard at making initial ideas grow to something that is our own – we usually spend a lot of time in the rehearsal studio getting part of a song properly written out and arranged until we are all satisfied.

AK: Beyond that, other things in life also influence our music, our creative direction and the way we approach things. Art, design, cinema, popular culture, our indie belief systems, emotions, events, etc – there’s just so many different things to take in and manifest into our music, and it all depends on what the original idea or message we want to convey is.

It’s been 9 years, 2 albums and a total of 5 releases. How has the journey been? How has your music progressed since your first gig?

ZS: It’s like being in a marriage. Our first 5 years were about experimenting, finding our sound and getting it right, etc. Sometimes we were focused while at other times we would be writing and playing aimlessly as we had other priorities. Then we started getting a bit more energy into the band, planned for kids (ie. releases) and went on a late honeymoon (ie. tours that took us to Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam, Hong Kong and the United States). Now we have renewed our vows and are giving birth to new monster this December – ‘Swords’. It’s been an amazing marriage.

AK: Actually, it’s been 2 albums, 2 EPs and a 7” vinyl single, so we have been fairly productive but there’s still a long way more to go before this ride ends. As for the music, it has gotten better through this process of learning over the years for us. Also it’s shorter, faster, and maybe even louder now.

Tell us more about ‘Swords’.

ZS: It’s a monster!

What’s the inspiration behind it?

AK: It’s about the band incorporating a heavier regime into our sound and exploring rhythms that we had not used before. Thematically, the inspirations behind the individual songs were also more diverse and probably for the first time, we had songs that were about ghost stories too.

ZS: I also believe that it is about all the struggles we all went through to keep believing and doing what we all love most with the band.

What’s the one track (from each of you) that particularly stands out, and tell us more about it.

ZS: It’s “Everybody Loves Somebody”, which I have been listening to almost every day. It has a lot of different personal meaning to it, from relationship break-ups and comebacks, to having played it live for the first time set to explosive fireworks at Errol’s and Lesley’s (of KittyWu Records, Sparkle’s label and management) wedding, to just having friends over to your place for an after party to chill and relax to. It’s therapeutic.

AK: For me it’s the first single “A Ba - RCGNTN.org

"Indie Artist Spotlight- I Am David Sparkle"

I don't know about you, but usually I don't think of Singapore as a hot bed for new post-rock talent. That's what we have here, however, with I am David Sparkle. On their album This is the New, they have created a soundscape of emotional beauty that washes over you in waves. As you lay back and enjoy the crashing of the proverbial waves you'll be soothed into a state of unadulterated bliss, only to be occasionally brought out of it for the few intense crescendos reached during the seven tracks of this album.

Oddly, or maybe not so, the members of this band have been playing in the musical realm for the last 14 years, but this is only their second foray into the post-rock realm. The band members were previously in various punk, hardcore, and indie bands. Amazingly, when they came together to create this album, their talents simultaneously clicked to create a serious post-rock album that stands tall amongst its compatriots.

--Rick Gebhardt - DecoyMusic.com

"What Are You Listening To?: I Am David Sparkle- This Is The New"

We've all been blown away by a Japanese post-rock band Mono, so why not check out an excellent surprise from a pioneering Singapore based instrumental four-piece band, I Am David Sparkle? Before I get to the music, I want to take a moment and drop a tribute to a very much under-appreciated component of an album - its packaging. This Is The New is tucked deep inside an accordion-like stereographic packaging full of hidden words and inaccessible secrets, but to get to the music, you have to become part of the artistic process and remove the stitches holding this enigma together. Once you remove the thread, you can never go back; in essence - creating by destroying. Clawing into the heart of the album, like a hungry squirrel working at the hard-shelled nut, I was praying that the music would live up to its externalities. Tension breaker - two thumbs up! Formed in 2001 and "inspired by the landscapes of life, love, and beauty", the group draws on their past experience in indie, punk and hardcore acts, but at the heart of composition lie the undeniable elements of post-rock, with hints of Explosions in the Sky, Sigur Rós and Mogwai, and an occasional electronic rhythm treatment to the likes of The Album Leaf. The music is comfortably familiar, soothing, and intelligent, adding to the palette a sprinkle of new color, as inspired by the cultural and geographical distance. Favorite track: Dance of Death. - Headphone Commute

"Power of Pop chats with I Am David Sparkle"

Singapore bands rarely exist for more than 3 years but you are about to release your 2nd album. What is the secret behind your perseverance?

ZS: A lot of patience, dedication and hard work.

FF: Also, I think it has a lot to do with the band’s genuine interest in wanting to write and play music. Anything beyond that has always been a bonus.

The members of IADS all have day jobs – how do you juggle working life with band commitments?

ZS: Most of the time practice timings and planning is done in advance. Everyone in the band is super busy with their own day jobs/profession but it is always nice to have our 4 to 6 hours a week of Sparkle time to let loose, whether it’s a rehearsal day or just hanging out, gossiping or sharing ghost stories…

AK: Since playing in Sparkle and making music is important for us, we sacrifice other things in order to make this happen. Throughout our time together, there have been lull periods for the band and really busy ones too. It’s just a matter of planning and executing our schedules to whatever else that is happening in our lives too. It is very hard juggling everything, but it’s worth it!

What is your songwriting and recording process? Does any one member dominate creatively? Does anyone outside of the band provide feedback?

DJ: We would sometimes write songs based on a riff or a part anyone of us comes up with and improvise as we move along. We have feedback from friends about our songs, but it’s seldom the case of “Hey you should make that part longer, etc”. Our record label also does provide some constructive feedback during recording production, which does help along the way.

AK: Songwriting as with other creative processes depends on many factors – the original inspiration, the mood or emotion or message that we want to convey, the eventual arrangements based on what direction we would like to achieve, etc… So it’s not an easy, static, formulaic process. We take it as it comes, and see what happens. Sometimes we like what we get out of it, sometimes we don’t. The ones we do, we keep them as the songs we record and play.

Your new album is called ‘Swords’ – what were the new songs influenced by? Could you describe (from your point of view) what the songs on ‘Swords’ sound like?

DJ: ‘Swords’ is a compilation of previously unrecorded tracks as well as newer songs which we have written along the way. Some of the songs in this album are also a little more aggressive as compared to the (2007 album) ‘This Is the New’. The band has been ardent fans of loud and heavy music, so in a way ‘Swords’ is our interpretation of that interest. That being said, the Sparkle feel is still there in some softer tracks.

ZS: Pretty much the sound has changed and basically the whole album is also about the struggles and achievements of the band. Every song is a different story each time. ‘Swords’ is loud, yet therapeutic and calm, and will still make your head explode before eating you up… I think.

What can your fans expect from the album launch – Swords Are Drawn? How long will the set be and will you be playing songs from your previous album and EPs? Will there be any guest appearances? Costume changes?

ZS: People who come to the show will see a lot of dance moves like a spiritual-in-trance session, a lot of bright lights, crazy visuals and awkward moments… haha! I think the show will run until we are tired and definitely we will be doing some old songs. If Jade Seah comes for it, we can only hope that she’ll run up to us and give us a peck on our cheeks during our encore. That would beat our original idea of wearing robes and riding horses as part of the stage act.

DJ: We are very fortunate to have Brandon Tay of Syndicate (celebrated audio/visual collective), which we are fans of, to provide visuals for our set. He’s also going to hook up some motion sensor infra-red stuff to track our movements and generate visuals, so that’s really interesting. The set is going to be about an hour long. I doubt there would be any costume changes, but we did have an early idea of playing in robes for our set! There’s also talk about having guest appearances, but nothing’s concrete. For now, we’re just focusing on tightening up our set.

IADS is one of the few Singapore bands that has toured overseas – what is the experience like playing before audiences in Malaysia, HK and USA compared to Singapore? Any horror stories?

ZS: It’s nice to travel and be around great bands and people. Their hospitality is always excellent and a lot of big indie bands that we play with also have no rockstar attitudes – they carry their own gear, set-up on their own before rocking out, and always have time for drinks and a chit-chat with us and their fans. That said, I also really love the energy and effort by some Singapore bands and music collectives here like B-Quartet, Amateur Takes Control, Impiety, Plain Sunset, Syndicate, Great Spy Experiment and so on, all of which have also been p - Power Of Pop

"Speaking Volumes Through Their Compositions"

On just a casual observation, Singapore post-rock band I Am David Sparkle has a good grasp on self-deprecating humour. Why? Because they have a song called ‘Nosferatu Makes Me Nervous’. This would probably not register a single blip, by any stretch of imagination, on anyone’s funny bone except that one of the genre’s flagship bands, Mogwai, has a song called ‘Mogwai Fears Satan’.

But as it turns out, we barked up the wrong telephone pole. The song is, in actual fact, in reference to an MSN chat one of the band members had with a girl that made him nervous, culminated with the song’s main dark and ominous riff. Minor dispels aside, there’s obviously some lightheartedness to the band’s–also consisting of Farizwan Fajari (bass), Djohan Johari (guitars/programming) and Zahir Sanosi (drums)–façade, not least with their choice of name, which is a reference to the traditional Malaysian joget legend M Daud Kilau (which translates roughly to “David Sparkle” in English). “Comic relief is much needed everywhere,” says Zahir. “Although we are dead serious about the band, over the eight years that we have been together, we have also realised that our music should be fun for us to play and fun for us to conceptualise. Some of our older unrecorded songs had ideas around the funnier aspects of women, dancing, language and love,” he added. “So yeah, you could say we don’t mind being lighthearted at times.”

But one can be forgiven for finding “lightheartedness” as being something somewhat inappropriate in regards to I Am David Sparkle’s music, which shuffles between quiet twinkling passages to full out fuzz box grandeur in a matter of seconds, creating a sonic template that’s mostly apocalyptic in nature. Not bad music to put on when the world comes to an end. “The inspirations behind our songs are essentially people, experiences or events that have somehow occurred in daily life,” says Farizwan. “And because our music has no words, we convey this through a mood, a sense or a journey that is expressed through sounds.” Which incidentally is an interesting point of discussion considering many of the old guards of post-rock appear to be diversifying their sound little by little (Mogwai, for one, have started incorporating vocals more and more into their compositions over the years) to generate more varying interest in the genre. But does the band feel any pressure to do the similar? “No, we don't. The pressure is more on creating music that is honest, passionate and something that we enjoy,” says Zahir. “But who knows, maybe we might sing someday.”

To be able to climb up to the upper echelons of the Singapore music fraternity with a sound that is fully instrumental and can only be described as largely abstract to the undiscerning is, frankly, quite a feat. The band scored appearances at the reputable Good Vibrations festival that was held in Singapore in 2007, which featured among others, the Beastie Boys and Jurassic 5 as headliners. But not content with conquering the instrumental rock stratosphere in Singapore, the band hauled their massive wall of noise to the outback of Austin, Texas for the South By Southwest (SXSW) music conference/festival on 20 March, sharing a slot just behind reputable fuzz pop indie lynchpins Manhattan Love Suicides. “Our label and management KittyWu Records had submitted our music and profile to organisers of various international music festivals worldwide, and SXSW was the first to get back to us. We received notification of our selection in October 2008, and made the news public at the end of December,” says Amran.

The band is not the first out of the Lion City to step into the sandy echoes of Texas to hawk their brand of rock. In 2007, scene big guns Electrico and The Great Spy Experiment hauled their commercially-viable juggernaut sounds to the fest. I Am David Sparkle perhaps pose a different prospect altogether with their slow-burning instrumental movements. “I’m not sure if a lot of Singaporean bands are ‘taking the SXSW route’. Of course with Electrico and The Great Spy Experiment playing SXSW in 2007, it definitely opened up our eyes to the possibility of playing the same festival as well,” says Djohan. “They simply showed us that it could be done. Ultimately, it was SXSW that had called us first. If it was some other international festival, we would have probably accepted too.”

The band also recently played the A*Fest in Manila, Philippines in March and stopped by Hanoi, Vietnam for the 3rd International Hanoi Music Festival in April. That, culminated with a new album slated for a late 2009 release (“We haven't started production on it yet, but we have most of the songs for it already.”), means that the band’s traction is hardly grinding to a halt. In fact, it’s chugging along meaner than a Balrog. All of which bodes well for fans of their distinct genre of music, which in hindsight, appears to be growing at a massive rate in the last two years.

But there’s one person - JUNK Magazine



Album Title: Apocalypse of Your Heart CDEP
Release Date: Oct 2006
Catalogue No.: Self-Released

Album Title: This Is The New CDLP
Release Date: Nov 2007
Catalogue No.: KittyWu Records KWR001

Album Title: Nosferatu Makes Me Nervous 7" vinyl single
Release Date: March 2009
Catalogue No.: KittyWu Records KWR004

Album Title: Live in Houston CDEP
Release Date: April 2010
Catalogue No.: Self Released

Album Title: Swords CDLP
Release Date: Dec 2010
Catalogue No.: KittyWu Records KWR009


Album Title: Recharge Revelation 5 Global Gathering
CD Compilation
Song/Single: The Way of The Universe
Release Date: Oct 2007
Catalogue No.: Junk Magazine Vol.13

Album Title: Reveries
Song/Single: 'Jaded Afghan'
Release Date: February 2008
Cataogue No.:SonicFrontiers.net - Compilation Vol 2 (Free Digital Download)


Mediacorp Radio Singapore 98.7FM
'Jaded Afghan'

Unpopular.Radio (Online radio station & podcast)
'Dance of Death'
'Wild Horses'

BBC 6 Radio: Tom Robinson Introducing...
Broadcast date: 14 September 2008
'The Way Of The Universe'

Far Past Post (US)
'A Bad Corpse'



The Straits Times has called their music sonic short stories while music magazine JUNK have warned that their music will soothe and calm you, before making your head explode. I AM DAVID SPARKLE began life as a collective improvisational band in 2001. Taking its name from a tongue-in-cheek anglicization of a popular 70s Malaysian disco king, M. Daud Kilau, its this irreverence that saw them through relentless gigging at their early start in the local Singapore scene.

With a growing underground following, October 2006 saw them self-releasing their debut EP Apocalypse of Your Heart as a documentation of their older songs. In 2007, I AM DAVID SPARKLE took to the bigger stage for regional festivals Good Vibrations 2007' and Recharge Revelations 5 Global Gatherings, and saw the year out with ZoukOut 2007. In that time, they also managed to pick up Best Alternative Act at the Motorola SuperStyle MIX Music Awards. It was during this period of playing live and recording that they honed their musical chops and I AM DAVID SPARKLE released their debut full-length album This Is The New in November 2007 under KittyWu Records. 2008 saw I AM DAVID SPARKLE open for acclaimed Japanese instrumental quartet Mono in Singapore. In March 2009, I Am David Sparkle was the only band selected from Singapore in that year to showcase at the reknowned South By Southwest Music Festival (SXSW 2009) in Austin, Texas. Their mini-US tour continued with more shows in Houston and Boston. I AM DAVID SPARKLE released a limited pressing of the single Nosferatu Makes Me Nervous on 7 vinyl, to commemorate the trip to the US. Never one to rest, more touring followed in Asia with performances in Hong Kong, Manila (A*Fest 2009), and Hanoi (3rd Hanoi International Music Festival). Most recently in April 2010, the band self-released the Live In Houston EP, an unproduced, live recording of their performance at Cactus Music, in Houston, Texas.

I AM DAVID SPARKLE released their second studio full-length Swords in December 2010, followed by a sold-out album release concert in Singapore and tours in Indonesia and Malaysia in support of the new album. I Am David Sparkle capped off 2011 with a short 6 date tour of Tokyo and Osaka, Japan.

Presently writing and recording material for their third studio album tentatively titled "Art Is Blood", I Am David Sparkle is looking to heavier, darker influences for this recording slated for an end 2014 release.

JUNK Magazine has certainly put it best; speaking of the bands hardworking ethic; I AM DAVID SPARKLE is chugging along meaner than a Balrog.