Concert Pick of the Weekend: Chrome Sparks at Bardot
There's only one rule at a Chrome Sparks show: Dance.
Courtesy of Windish Agency
If chillwave is as dead as the blogosphere claims, someone forgot to tell Chrome Sparks. Born Jeremy Malvin, the Pittsburgh-bred and Brooklyn-based musician, best-known for his viral hit "Marijuana," will perform at Bardot as a three-piece band this Friday after opener Moon Diagrams.
If it were possible to genetically engineer the quintessential electronic artist for the Tumblr era, Chrome Sparks would likely be the result. Before settling on the Chrome Sparks moniker, Malvin served several stints as drummer for a number of bands, including internet synthpop darling Stepdad. Choosing to take his background in classical percussion in a more danceable direction, Malvin traded in an education in drumming for a career in DJ'ing.
Since the switch, Malvin has enjoyed tremendous success as a solo act. Signed to Future Classic — the Australian label home to Flume, Chet Faker, and Cashmere Cat — Chrome Sparks has attracted attention for not only, well, producing future classics but also successfully juggling several moods and sounds. "Marijuana" — which sampled Idris Muhammad's disco classic "Could Heaven Ever Be Like This" long before Jamie xx did on last year's "Loud Places" — is Chrome Sparks' most popular song for good reason. A lean, three-minute eruption of puff-puff-pass bliss, "Marijuana" is as equally effective as a bass-synth-driven sleep aid as it is a club-floor filler. Chrome Sparks' substantial following has been bolstered by his online presence, most notably when he embarked on a yearlong endeavor to have lunch with a different person every day in 2014.
The sonic versatility that characterized "Marijuana" has carried through in subsequent releases. Chrome Sparks' latest release, last year's three-track EP Parallelism, operates in a variety of sounds despite its scant running time. "Give It Up" romps in a shimmering disco playground before transitioning into a cacophonous, pitter-pattering club banger, while EP opener "Moonraker" sounds like Mario and Luigi just walked into the club: It isn't difficult to imagine a series of pixels jumping in time with the track's gradual escalation and eventual fade.
This coming show at Bardot is far from Chrome Sparks' first brush with Miami, having played several gigs here in the past few years, most recently as an artist on October's III Points lineup. If his past shows and recent output are any indication, this Friday will be an eminently danceable good time. Smoke 'em if you got 'em.
Chrome Sparks with Moon Diagrams. 10 p.m. Friday, January 29, at Bardot, 3456 N. Miami Ave., Miami; 305-576-5570; bardotmiami.com. Tickets cost $20 plus fees via showclix.com. Ages 21 and up.