Say Psych: Album Review: Dreamweapon – Rites of Lunacy

Porto’s dreamweapon take their name from the 1990 Spacemen 3 live album ‘Dreamweapon: An Evening of Contemporary Sitar Music’, who themselves took inspiration from the work of minimalist drone – or ‘Dream Music’ – visionary La Monte Young and a 1965 multimedia piece titled ‘Rites of The Dreamweapon’ by original The Velvet Underground drummer Angus MacLise. Following on from their 2018 LP Sol, released on Fuzz Club, a change of personnel has allowed a string of self releases.

Their latest release, Rites of Lunacy is the lost dreamweapon album. Recorded in 2016, so trapped between 2015’s self-titled LP and 2018’s SOL, this remains forever unfinished, but never again hidden. More than just an album, more than its songs, Rites Of Lunacy is the concept, the matrix in which dreamweapon operates, that draining spiral that urges us to keep making music. It is, as it was and it shall be, both the past and the future.

Opening with the title track, the complex undulating layers quickly take effect, leaving the listener pleasantly adrift, waves of sound washing over them. ‘Spheres’ is more distinct, with a strong countenance that steers the track, with an unfinished feel that permeates through, making it no less enjoyable of a track and ‘Well of Souls’ continues in this way, with an other worldly, haunting addition of indistinct vocals that invoke image that suit its title to perfection. ‘Odum’ is something entirely different and stands out as such. It uses Eastern influences to create imagery of Arabian nights, but with an added beat that brings it right up to date. You could easily be forgiven for thinking that this track had gone from one of the Turkish bands who are producing this sound so well at the moment. ‘Gloryhole’ could have come straight from a sci-fi movie soundtrack with its menacing bass hook and reverberating vocals. ‘Half A Horse’ is the perfect follow up, with the space theme continuing, but this time its more Third Man soundtrack than Creature from the Black Lagoon. Concluding ‘Moongazer’ takes segments of all the tracks that have come before providing the perfect ending with its incorporation of the existing and making them a new.

It may have been lost, but now that Rites of Lunacy is found, it won’t easily be forgotten; we can only be thankful that it hasn’t remained languishing in the archives.

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