Small little sparrow

Mikel Dimmick Spiral Joy Band: Little Sparrow

Very few bands benefit from a list of their instrumentation, but a group like the Spiral Joy Band, that list has much to say about the sounds to be found within: fiddles, gongs, bowls, harmonium, srutis, spiral cymbal, crash cymbal, crank whistle, flute, bells, banjosticks. Even more telling are these words from the liner notes: "no overdubs, no amplification, no effect". Spiral Joy Band are drone explorers, purists who spend their time rubbing and bowing and striking various objects to conjure up elements they can weave into their hauntingly mysterious organic drone music. While we're typically partial to the low end of the sonic spectrum, upper register tones have a magic all their own, and create an entirely different world of sound. Henry Flynt is definitely a good reference point for the Spiral Joy Band, notice that fiddles (plural!) were the first instrument listed, and the root of these sounds is definitely slow bowed fiddles, the sound is keening and moaning. and when all the fiddles get going together, it's like an acoustic version of Sunroof!, total glorious high end ur-drone nirvana. There's an element of twang to the sound, the sawed strings, it's unavoidable, the cymbals add another layer of shimmer, at it's most transcendent, it's like staring at the sun, glimmering, glistening, sparkling effulgence, the various overtones taking on a life of their own, at its most subtle, it's like some late afternoon country hoedown, but all slowed down, and all high end. So nice. This one is definitely not for drone dabblers, this one is for the true drone elite, looking to escape the sonic confines of this terrestrial world, to find musical salvation in the astral plane.

-- Aquarius