Photo: Dicko Chan

William Basinski and Preston Wendel collaborate as Sparkle Division, share new song “Oh Henry!”

William Basinski and Preston Wendel are aligning their musical and personal interests as Sparkle Division, creating a vivid fusion of lounge, avant jazz, and grimy disco sounds that wander around in surprising landscapes of mutated rhythmic movements.

Sparkle Division will release their new record To Feel Embraced later this summer on Temporary Residence Ltd.

Their new single, “Oh Henry!”, is a collaboration with and tribute to musician, poet, illustrator, philosopher, metaphysician, and educator Henry Grimes, who suffered from Parkinson’s Disease and passed away on April 15, 2020 from COVID-19. This song was one of Grimes’ final studio recordings — he contributed upright bass and violin to the track. Rolling and affecting and completely immersive, “Oh Henry!” is a poignant revelation of instrumental bliss that highlights the importance of one man’s life and the impact he made upon those around him.

Basinski describes his introduction to Grimes:

“I met Henry and Margaret Davis Grimes in the green room at The Empty Bottle in Chicago around 2003 or 2004, shortly after Henry had moved to NYC and began playing again. Although Henry is a very quiet man, my friend Myra Morrow charmed us all as she does with her sparkling personality, and we all hit it off and stayed in touch.

“When Preston pulled out this slow groove that became “Oh Henry!”, I was moved to play a sexy, slow melody. Then the beats hit and he’s got it in double time..It worked! I called Margaret in NYC and said we had a track we’d like them to hear to see if Henry would come in on it. Margaret called me a few days later and said, “a lotta babies gonna be born to that track!” When their schedule allowed, we booked Henry’s favorite studio, The Bunker in Brooklyn, with Nolan Thies engineering. Nolan recorded 5 takes of Henry performing upright bass and violin for the track, which Preston edited here at Musex International in LA. Henry’s playing is mind-boggling as usual, and we were absolutely blown away.

We are so sad to have lost our friend Henry this spring to COVID-19, and so sorry he never got a chance to hear the finished track. We send our deepest sympathies to Margaret Davis Grimes, the family, and all of Henry’s colleagues, friends and fans.”

Temporary Residence Ltd. will contribute 100% of revenues from all Bandcamp digital sales today to various organizations addressing the issues of structural racism, racist socialization, and racial discrimination. These organizations include The Black Art Futures, Black Table Arts, The Conscious Kid, and Black Girls Code.  Bandcamp has also pledged to contribute 100% of their revenues to the NAACP today.