Vermin or Virus? Soundwalk Collective Collaborates with Legend Patti Smith on “Peradam”

Reviewed by: Jake Motto

Soundwalk Collective is a cluster of artists and musicians that is always testing the ever-expanding boundaries of music. A collective of visionaries formed by Stephan Crasneanski and Simone Merli, the group uses anything they can get their hands on to express themselves via composition. Every item from standard to unique instruments–even throwing rocks or smashing a trash can on the ground. And, that’s exactly what you should expect going into “The Rat”–as well as the album Peradam. A mix of fantasy and realism, this song will grab and drag you along for the ride.

Peradam is the final album of their tryptic series, with “The Rat” being the last piece of work listed. The whole storyline is based off of René Daumal’s Mount Analogue, which discusses the idea of searching for something, whatever it may be, but not knowing if it exists or if it ever will. Until you are certain of what you are yearning for, only then will the answer become visible.

Patti Smith’s voice is enthralling as the other three band members jam out in what seems like a magical, yet disturbing fairytale. Her description of killing a rat that survived off sick wasps, fallen from the treetops, sounds quite deranged at first. As you venture deeper throughout the song, the scene starts to unravel into something more crucial than the listener would have expected. 

Those wasps carried illnesses and diseases that would spread like wildfire in an instant. So, as Smith, metaphorically, murders this rat, all of the trees dwindle into dust and the lack of pollination starts to shift the Earth’s momentum. She emphasizes the vurmin that scurry our crevices, and have a much more significant role than people could imagine.

The gathered physical sounds from all over the world, including Sierra Tarahumara, Mexico, Harar, Ethiopia and various locations in the Himalayas, makes for an incredible compilation of surrealism and brutalism. The production of this song and album is vastly similar to Paul Simon’s Graceland, as he ventured to many African countries to discover and study techniques from other cultures. 

What makes Soundwalk Collective so unique though, is the fact that these veterans in the art industry are always searching the universe for unprecedented details. Relentless and determined, the group is never afraid to dive head-first into the abyss, as they see themselves without any barriers.

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