Ever since I delved into Holodeck Records’ compilation Holodeck Vision One I’ve been going back and trying to play catch up with the label’s impressive and vast roster of artists. One song that’s been particularly mind-blowing to me(one of many) is Sungod’s “Frequence”. A mixture of Krautrock, trance-like repetition, and the sound of a band just letting loose. It’s inspirational, really. One of the members of Sungod is multi-instrumentalist Michael C. Sharp. Sharp released his debut solo album with Holodeck last October called Never Enough Time. Much like his work with Sungod, Sharp creates slightly psychedelic tapestries with music, but on his debut they’re created with guitar loops, electronics, and lots of echo. The results are a heady dose Fripp/Eno-like magic and inspiration from the Texas vastness.
Michael C. Sharp seems to be a guy that likes to build and layer. The songs on Never Enough Time are created with various layers of electric melody and a feeling of floating in space. The process of looping can be an art form in and of itself. It’s a jam session with oneself, where the only limitations are with the artist. Something like album opener “Well-Being” brings to mind the work of Robert Fripp, though not as utilitarian. It also has the same wild guitar abandon as say Nicklas Sorensen’s Solo LPs. Sharp weaves and layers guitar lines expertly as the song moves along like some lost Komische classic. “Never Enough Time” sounds as if it has its roots in the Terry Riley school of sonic meditation. There’s something magical about the work of Riley and Steve Reich from the early 70s, and I think Sharp captures that bit of magic in this excellent title track.
“Pique Poring Over” the Metal Machine Music moment. It’s industrial buzz and molten glow stand out among the more contemplative tracks. It’s an interesting and intriguing moment of desolation.
Never Enough Time ends on “Tape Delay Dichotomy Pt. I” and “Tape Dichotomy Pt. II”. It’s over 13 minutes of glorious spatial guitar repetition and synth melancholy. “Pt. I” continues the guitar layers and loops, while “Pt. II” settles into a dreamy space of melancholy synth as a foundation, while echoing notes build on top to form a complex and atmospheric soundscape that seems to open a door to infinity right before your ears. If the “Big Bang” had a score, this could definitely be it.
I don’t know what’s going on in Austin, but whatever it is I hope it continues. Holodeck Records seems to have built quite a magical roster of artists and they shine a light on what seems to be endless creativity in the Lonestar state. Michael C. Sharp’s Never Enough Time is a mind-expanding experience. Beautifully complex, but simple enough at the surface that anyone can find some kind of peace within it.
Buy Never Enough Time on limited edition cassette or digital download here.
8.3 out of 10