Portugal’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. Fast-forward to 2018 and dreamweapon, the band, are continuing to keep the torch burning – perfectly embodying the timeless mantras of less is always more and psychedelia as constantly-evolving pastiche.
Made up of 10,000 Russos bassist Andre Couto, João Campos Costa and Edgar Moreira, dreamweapon emerged in 2009 and have since gone on to release one EP, their debut S/T album and a handful of singles, whilst taking their immersive and unremitting live show around Europe. Made up of four improvised compositions recorded in one take at their Porto practice space, on February 16th dreamweapon will be releasing their sophomore LP ‘SOL’ on London imprint Fuzz Club Records. To announce the new album the band are sharing the cosmic visuals for ‘Monte da Virgem’, the otherworldly album closer.
On ‘SOL’, whirrs of feedback and noise coalesce around droning, oscillating synths, samples and subtle cascading guitars, the only thing keeping the sparse soundscapes together being the incessant Krautrock rhythm with a seemingly endless motorik bassline that forces it’s way right to the back of your unconscious and the almost proto-punk minimalism of those programmed drum machines.
Whilst you’d be forgiven for thinking this is a ‘dark’ record, what makes SOL such a great album is that on each listen you scratch at the surface some more and uncover little subtle nuances that offer a faint glimmer of hope, like a light at the end of the tunnel – such as the subtle jangling guitars or those moments where all the noise comes together just before the tracks end on a hum of feedback. Andre reveals this is all part of the plan: “’SOL’ – the Latin name for sun – marks the beginning of our ‘solar’ cycle. The next record, which is already in the works, will be a much more dark, lunar affair”
Talking of the creative approach behind ‘SOL’, Andre explains: “We approached this album in a completely different way to our previous material. Firstly, we decided to record it ourselves which we’ve never done before and this opened up a lot more freedom to experiment and secondly, it’s our most truly-spontaneous record yet. We recorded the tracks live in one take as we all improvised over minimalistic drum-machine loops – this a real departure from the ‘song-based music’ we’re used to making.”