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Pete Lockett’s Network of Sparks

Featuring Bill Bruford – One

Review by Gary Hill

What do you get when you take five percussionists and put them together? Pete Lockett’s Network of Sparks. I have to say I’m not a huge fan of drum solos, but this is an interesting disc. It never gets boring or feels repetitive because each piece has its own flavor. I suppose it’s probably more jazz than progressive rock, but I’ve included it under that heading because of the presence of Bill Bruford.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2010  Volume 1 at
Track by Track Review

To call the opening track a drum solo would only be so accurate. Sure, it leads off with some insistent, powering drums and drums are featured throughout. There are other bits of percussion here, too. This is an interesting cut, and a cool way to start it all off. It's onl about a minute and a half long.

Travel Light
This starts off much more subtly. Tuned percussion rises gradually upward as this takes on a rather tribal sound. This cut is a lot mellower and more atmospheric, but there’s also a lot of melody built into it.
Self Portrait
Not really melodic, this has a less insistent rhythm than the opener did. It seems to have a jazz element to it, but also a tribal one.
Voices Apart

As the title suggests we get a voice on this number. It’s a non-lyrical vocal – a bit like scat singing, but more like a rhythmic instrument.

Complex Transactions
Another with a lot of melody (provided by tuned percussion) this is pretty and it’s hard to believe that it’s all percussion instrumentation.
Groove Oddity
The title suggests a groove and, in fact, this one does groove. It’s far more purely percussive and in some ways more like the opening piece – although it’s less aggressive.
Ambient and spacey, this is rather like something you might hear from King Crimson. 
Strictly percussive, this has the feel of a person drumming on a street corner. There are some incidental sounds in the mix that seem to add to this effect. 
More tribal in nature, this is a pretty solid percussion solo. There’s not really much melodic sound here, but lots of rhythmic textures.
Full On II
We get something that’s not that different from much of the other material here in terms of description. Of course, when you are dealing with a percussion only album, that’s to be expected.
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