Review Revue: Spacemen 3 - Dreamweapon

Review Revue
Levi Fuller

This is another record that Janice kindly documented for me before the record collection got packed up and moved to the New Home. After this I'm going to have to go in and pick out some more record covers to cover, so I sure hope the vinyl's all been unpacked. I'm excited to see the records in their new home! Wouldn't it be great if there was wall shelving all around the whole place and each record was placed facing outwards so you could read the comments on them all as you walk around? It would certainly make my job easier, if nothing else. Man, I wish the architects had asked me for my input, don't you?

OK, the reason I'm blabbing about behind the scenes stuff and not talking about this record is because a) I shed about as much light as I have to shed on Spacemen 3 back when I wrote about The Perfect Prescription, and 2) the KCMU DJs are even more enlightening than usual on this particular album, bringing much more knowledge and insight than I could possibly provide. Although I did find this little tidbit on Wikipedia, which makes me want to get a copy of this record immediately: "On 19 August [1988], Spacemen 3 gave an unusual live performance. Palmer had booked them to provide 'An Evening of Contemporary Sitar Music' in the foyer of the Waterman's Art Centre in Brentford, London, to act as a prelude to a screening of the film Wings of Desire. Kember, Pierce and Carruthers were joined by Rugby musician Steve Evans. They played a 45-minute jam, based around a single chord strummed by Evans, featuring riffs from some of the songs from their as yet unreleased Playing With Fire material. This performance was recorded and was later released, in 1990, as Dreamweapon." Sign me up!

"Based on LaMonte Young's idea of Dream Music (read the back). Young was (and is) a prototypical figure in contemporary classical music, influencing Reich, Riley, Glas, Cale, etc. His own pieces are great mixtures of drones, repetition & simple but haunting meloides that can really create a different mental state. We should try to get some of his music. Sonic Boom tries to achieve the same thing on this record. However, the pieces don't quite mesh together. Something's missing. The slow pieces on On Fire got closer to this idea. Oh, & Side 2 plays inside out."

"The Spacemen are always a little taxing in this mode, but it's still pretty cool in spots."

"This is a bootleg, basically of some live jams. Pretty hypnotic stuff. Ideal for late nights."

"Listeners really like this. They're not as bored as I'd think they would be . . ."

"Either that, or they reach the alpha state faster than we realize."

"Should have large gongs being struck every so often - otherwise pretty good. (45?)" [This is one of my favorite comments I've seen to date on one of these records. Not only for the gong suggestion, but for the possibility that the commenter isn't quite sure what speed this record is meant to be played at.]

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