Arena Hostile (VPRO Radio Recordings)
CST017 - 2001
In January 2001, Frankie Sparo toured Europe with a Silver Mt. Zion. Musicians from the latter group worked on new arrangements of songs from Sparo\'s debut record, My Red Scare (cst013), adding strings, organ and electronics to Frankie\'s guitar and beatbox compositions. Some of the results were captured in a live studio performance recorded live to 2-track at VPRO radio in Amsterdam, where a feverish flu found Sparo in a ravaged, hallucinatory state - which only added to the dark magic of these recordings. The four songs on this EP are all first takes, beautifully recorded by the good people at VPRO. Along with 3 songs reworked from the debut album, the EP also includes a heartbreaking cover of the Rolling Stones\' \"I Am Waiting\", which Sparo performed solo a number of times in concert. \"Diminish Me NYC\" features an off-kilter minimal electronic arrangement with violin drones. \"The Night That We Stayed In\" is anchored by a walking doublebass line, punctuated by dual violin phrases, turning the song into an even smokier affair. \"Here Comes The Future\" is propelled by radically reworked drum programming and a lush coda of strings and organ, while the aforementioned cover version finds Mr. Sparo alone with his guitar in a gorgeous interpretation from the Jagger/Richards songbook.