"Little droner boy" reviews

Containing a single, sixteen minute track that reduces a well-known holiday favorite to a resonant blur, Firetail’s Little Droner Boy EP is easily the most accessible of the four Silber Records' 2014 Christmas releases that I’ve heard thus far. While the previous two albums in the series (Small Life Form’s Parts for Holiday Projects and Electric Bird Noise’s Birth) would be more or less unlistenable to those raised on more mainstream types of music, Firetail’s Droner Boy (the product of musician Andrea Vascellari, better known for work done under the Lullabier name) doesn’t just have a recognizable theme as its basis, but is -gasp!- actually fairly musical. Essentially what we have here is a manipulated version of the song “The Little Drummer Boy” that, instead of revolving around a rhythmic percussion parts, centers around an omnipresent, throbbing drone that’s heard throughout the piece in the background. The early minutes of “Little Droner Boy” include snippets of angelic choir singing the main melody as well as the accented lower vocal parts originally intended to simulate the sounds of drum rolls. While none of the words of the song can be heard in Firetail’s version, it is reassuring to at least find some familiar elements to latch onto here (even if the higher voices sound like drawn-out, resonant shrieks), and the basic framework of the original song is present in some form throughout most of the track. The middle section of “Droner Boy” finds the piece moving as far away from the source material as it ever does, with tinkling chimes, groaning low voice parts, and occasional cadences of military snare drum being heard alongside what sounds like Darth Vader respiration. Ominous though the piece may be at this point, it also has an almost profound, religious sort of feel to it since all the high voice parts have been blended together to create a sort of godly haze which hangs over everything else going on. As it nears its conclusion, things begin to “normalize,” sounding more and more similar to the original tune before a gradual fadeout of almost hopeful reverberating chords. Lacking a big climactic moment of revelation, Little Droner Boy is also probably too drawn out to strike the fancy of those raised on a steady stream of more traditional holiday music. Still, Firetail’s addition to the Silber Christmas release series is entirely listenable and one of the few and perhaps the only volume of the 2014 releases that would have any (albeit limited) appeal to the general listening public. As much as some of the others in this series would be mighty sketchy for most listeners, Little Droner Boy is one that I’d be most inclined to recommend.(Bandjack)

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