Photo | Dicko Chan

William Basinski and Preston Wendel have teamed up for a new collaborative project, SPARKLE DIVISION.

The project broadly encompasses a vibrant electronic fusion of lounge, experimental jazz, and gritty disco, and its first taste comes in the shape of “Oh Henry!,” featuring innovative polymath Henry Grimes.

Recorded, mixed, and finalized between New York and Los Angeles, the music documents one of the last studio sessions Grimes took part in before passing from Covid–19 in April. It serves a tribute to the legacy he left behind through music, poetry, illustration, philosophy, metaphysics, and education.

Basinski met Henry Grimes and his wife, Margaret, in the green room at The Empty Bottle in Chicago around 2003 or 2004. When Wendel pulled out a slow groove that became “Oh Henry!,” Basinski called Margaret and said he had a track he’d like them to hear to see if Henry would come in on it. Margaret called a few days later and said, “a lotta babies gonna be born to that track!”

When their schedule allowed, Basinski booked Henry’s favorite studio, The Bunker in Brooklyn, with Nolan Thies engineering. Thies recorded five takes of Henry performing upright bass and violin for the track, which Preston edited at Musex International in Los Angeles.

“Henry’s playing is mind-boggling as usual, and we were absolutely blown away,” Basinski recalls. “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.”

“Oh Henry!” has been released on Bandcamp with Temporary Residence Ltd. and is available to stream in hi-definition on TIDAL, via Musex International. You can order a copy here, and stream it below.


01. Oh Henry!

To learn more about the extraordinary story and legacy of Henry Grimes, please visit here.