Some songs come along that you seem to know the moment you hear it, even though it’s for the first time. In the case of Spark The Universe it had exactly that impact. A mixture of late-60s psychedelic homage, early 80s new wave, white boy soul, plus a good dose of dub, all wrapped around a killer hook and super tight production and a hit was surely made.
The fact there are many deserving records that don’t become a hit doesn’t mean some are better than others and in fact, the joy in collecting and reissuing is finding amazing songs and bringing them back.
Increasingly heard in the sets of the more discerning DJs, Spark The Universe has become a cult play and with second hand prices now in three figures, a reissue is timely. As the label oft says, no one owns this music other than the writers, musicians and producers and their craft deserves to be appreciated.
Before going on to carve a successful career in ‘electronica’ project, Euphoria, Toronto’s Ken Ramm had shown his considerable writing and playing ability with the 1981 debut LP Dragon and this 1983 follow up, known simply as Ramm.
Coming together through a meeting with a then relatively unknown producer, Daniel Lanois, via a mutual interest in tape loops and dubbing, it was the suggestion to bring in local vocalist Lorraine Segato that Ramm formed.
Recording at Lanois’ Grant Avenue Studios, his interest in mixing past and present technology, with multiple digital delay units, harmonizers and other effect processors allowed Ramm and Lanois to explore using the studio as an instrument alongside real musicianship.
Backwards guitars, tremolo bar dives and guitar harmonics are incorporated with the vocals and percussion to perfection. With a ‘Dance’ and alternative ‘Dub’, the song’s hypnotic and dreamy feel superimposed over beats pin-pointed to the later Euphoria project and with the addition of a latter day ‘Discomix’, from the labels’ own Chuggy, Spark The Universe deserves it’s place on contemporary dancefloors.