Album Review: dreamweapon – ‘dreamweapon’

Photograph by Betânia Liberato

‘dreamweapon’ by dreamweapon draws upon an enviable pedigree.

‘Dreamweapon’ is the title of Spacemen 3’s 1990 live album, which in turn drew it’s inspiration from a 1965 work by Angus MacLise titled, ‘Rites of the Dream Weapon’, one of an extensive series of multimedia productions, which MacLise described as “ritual happenings”.

MacLise’s collaborations with experimental luminaries, La Monte Young – minimalist drone and “dream music” composer, the inspiration for the Spacemen 3 track, ‘An Evening Of Contemporary Sitar Music’, Jack Smith – film-maker, and Ira Cohen – poet, helped define the 60’s avant-garde.

The enigmatic Angus MacLise, is perhaps best known as the original percussionist with the Velvet Underground, MacLise’s lifework included music, calligraphy, performance art, poetry, drawings, plays, and limited edition artist’s books.

This latest incarnation of dreamweapon, “was born in 2011”, comprising – André Couto, Edgar Moreira, João Campos Costa, Luís Barros. André is also a member of fellow Porto based noise-merchants, 10 000 Russos.

The sleeve artwork for ‘dreamweapon’ by Rosália Ruas, conjures a fractal, neural node net, perhaps envisaging a connected visual representation of tone-clusters.

I confess that dreamweapon have ensnared me in their collective embrace, my immersion in and adherence to their purpose is henceforth assured.

‘dreamweapon’ is an outstanding, multifaceted debut album which extols the band’s, “minimal is maximal” mantra.

Kicking off side one, ‘The Heart Is Alive’, limbers up, intoning an expansive grandeur, with a “Space Odyssey” vibe, it achieves escape velocity, then launches headlong into a hyper/inner-spatial cacophony, the outro, is a majestically decaying half life, featuring harmonic throat singing; ‘Feather’, is a subtly floating, sonorous delicacy, driven by delirium inducing distortion; Closing side one, ‘Transient States’, continues the evocation of a sparse yet lush, freeform chiaroscuro, a syncopated, dreamtime “lysergic search”.

Side two gets underway with, ‘Stir’, surveying the heavens with the searchlight beam of a radio telescope, capturing elusive, eternity informing, interference patterns; ‘Eyes’, swathes in spiritual awakening, seeing as if cleansed in euphonic revelation; Album closer, ‘Spirit Rain’, retraces ancestral shamanic echoes, a sagacious, temporal, primordial peregrination.

I am so absorbed by this album and it’s myriad interconnections, that I was tempted to simply post that anyone listening, and not “getting it”, should immediately seek urgent medical attention!

‘dreamweapon’, is the distillation of fragmentary coalescence, the elusive dream state potential, rendered within vertiginous vinyl valleys…

‘dreamweapon’ is available as a limited edition of 500 copies on black vinyl via the Porto based Lovers & Lollipops record label.



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