dsfečo is a new solo artist based in Oakland, California, but he is definitely not new to music. A talented composer, David Fetcho primarily made his living making and producing music for various theatre and dance shows, broadcast radio and videos for most of his life. After five decades in bands, composing for others and collaborating, he finally made the decision to strike out on his own and make avant-garde music.
Watch It Sparkle, dsfečo’s debut EP, is a multi-genre reflection on modern life and its emotional, psychological and social cycles. The title track is the apotheosis of this work, representing at once the upsetting and sometimes destructive nature of these life cycles and the joy, beauty and lessons that can also come from them. The track starts out in an almost comical tone with calliope music and bird call samples. Fetcho’s vocals are similarly odd and meandering. A saxophone and guitar introduces the second part of the song, which contains a discordant, Philip Glass-like melody with lots of syncopation. The vocals at this point also turn louder and more passionate but still maintain their circus-like quality.
Before closing, “Watch It Sparkle” goes through a number of other phases, each fading into the next. An almost Asian-sounding synth melody and vocals only are layered over once again by the minor-keyed guitar. Fetcho’s vocals become more insistent, almost howling as the song climaxes. It fades out with a digital violin and the same calliope music as the opening.
Watch It Sparkle‘s title track is not necessarily representaive of the whole album style-wise, but it does represent one part of what Fetcho is trying to do with this album. Some songs are more melodic and conventional-sounding while others are even more avant-garde than this one. Meant to be Fetcho’s interpretation of the ups and downs of life, Watch It Sparkle makes a striking impression both musically and conceptually and is a bold triumph as a first solo album for the artist now known as dsfečo. Watch It Sparkle can be heard in its entirety on dsfečo’s Soundcloud page or on Spotify.