Music Reviews

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Artist: Dream Weapon Ritual
Title: The Uncanny Little Sparrows
Format: LP
Label: Boring Machines
Simon Balestrazzi and Monica Serra’s music as Dream Weapon Ritual is an unusually textured blend of Middle Eastern-style folksy plaintive drone work with electronic hums and digitally sawtoothed noises. Long vocal notes, reverberant cymbal crashes, processed found sounds and metallic hits and scrapes meld into odd, deeply expressive and somewhat sinister atmospheres.

The first side of the LP is one 18-minute track, “Bird Mother”, which is a melancholy and relatively busy affair with a sustained approach whereby the same elements fade and return in a variety of patterns but without any real sense of progression. It’s quite guttural and wears its emotions on its sleeve, but it perhaps doesn’t have quite enough variety in it to justify filling the whole side of vinyl.

The second side is four shorter tracks with greater breadth. “Mating Call” is bordering on playful, a short arrangement of vocal bird noise impressions that morph into an odd robotic tango rhythm. “Two Little Sparrows Sitting On A Bough And Waiting For Enlightenment” is a much tenser affair than the title suggests, with twanged melodies and tension notes that sound like a sort of horror / spaghetti western hybrid. “Tittle-Tattle Among Secret Devices” is more percussive and has a greater sense of urgency, underpinned by some almost anachronistic steady hand-drum patterns and a frankly bizarre breathy male vocal that sounds like at times like a cartoon animal impression, before “The One With The Iron Beak” is the most prog rock-like piece of the set, eerie with a slightly more retro and live feel.

It’s an unusual release, oozing with character and probably an interesting live proposition, a sort of prog rock drone electronica that certainly stands out in a crowd.



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