|

Click here to expand and collapse the player

Spiritualized

Rate It! Avg: 4.5 (117 ratings)
  • Formed: Rugby, Warwickshire, England
  • Years Active: 1990s, 2000s
  • Group Members: Thighpaulsandra
  • Website: http://www.spiritualized.com/
  • Recent Activity: 10.01.16 RT @jprobichaud911: #NowPlaying #ontheturntable ...finally part of my vinyl collection Spiritualized's (@officialSpzd) 'Ladies and gentleme…
  • Spiritualized

  • Spiritualized

  • Spiritualized

Albums

Biography All Music Guide

Group Members: Thighpaulsandra

All Music Guide:

Formed from the ashes of the trance-rockers Spacemen 3, singer/guitarist Jason Pierce's group Spiritualized did not break away from his prior band's trademark hypnotic minimalism; instead, they perfected it. Drawing on the continued influence of the Velvet Underground, La Monte Young, and Steve Reich, Spiritualized staked out a common ground between minimalism and lush symphonics -- while powered by simple, repetitious motifs, their songs simultaneously blossomed into rich, shimmering sonic panoramas inspired by the majestic studio wizardry of Phil Spector and Brian Wilson. Such seeming contradictions were essential to the group's alchemy: while the infamous Spacemen 3 tag of "taking drugs to make music to take drugs to" remained a cornerstone of their craft, at the same time Spiritualized's very name acknowledged the existence of other forces, further reflected in their heavy debt to gospel and soul music as well as an affinity for mantras and devotional hymns.

Although Spiritualized fully emerged after the acrimonious breakup of Spacemen 3, in truth the band's roots extended back to the band's final LP, 1990's Recurring. A Spacemen 3 album in name only, Recurring was split evenly between independently recorded work from Pierce and estranged partner Pete "Sonic Boom" Kember; as a result, while Kember's side presaged his eventual work with Spectrum, Pierce's half, recorded with most of the musicians who would later comprise Spiritualized (including guitarist Mark Refoy, bassist Willie B. Carruthers, and drummer Jon Mattock), predated the orchestral drones that became the band's hallmark. The first true Spiritualized single, a dramatic reading of the Troggs' "Anyway That You Want Me," was the final nail in the coffin -- reportedly, Kember was so incensed by the Spacemen 3 logo which appeared on the disc's jacket that he disbanded the group for good.

In 1991, Spiritualized returned with a string of EPs -- Feel So Sad, Run/I Want You, and Smile/Sway -- before their long-awaited debut, Lazer Guided Melodies, finally appeared the following year. The masterful, blissed-out result of Pierce's obsessive studio fine-tuning and endless remixing, the album was promoted by the band's slot on the high-profile Rollercoaster tour, where they appeared with the Jesus and Mary Chain and Curve. An excellent limited-edition live document, Fucked Up Inside, followed in 1993, trailed by another EP, Electric Mainline, later in the year.

In 1995, Spiritualized -- now a trio consisting of Pierce, keyboardist/guitarist Kate Radley, and bassist Sean Cook -- issued Pure Phase, a heady, dense production which boasted separate mixes from each stereo channel. With 1997's Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space, Pierce deliberately jettisoned many of the band's usual points of departure, including drones, tremolos, and phase tones; recorded with new drummer Damon Reece, it featured a cameo appearance from legendary New Orleans pianist Dr. John on one track, while Memphis studio legend Jim Dickinson appeared on another. Other guests included the Balanescu Quartet (also featured on Pure Phase), the London Community Gospel Choir, and Spring Heel Jack. The two-disc Royal Albert Hall October 10 1997 live album followed in late 1998.

The following year, Pierce gutted Spiritualized's lineup, firing Cook, Reece, and Mike Mooney, who formed Lupine Howl soon after their dismissal; Radley apparently left soon after she married Verve frontman and solo artist Richard Ashcroft. Only saxophonist Ray Dickaty and sometime keyboardist Thighpaulsandra (aka Tim Lewis) remained in the band. Pierce began writing and recording material for the next Spiritualized album at George Martin's Air Studios and recruited percussionist Tom Edwards, bassist Martin Shallards, Echoboy drummer Kev Bales, and guitarist Dogan, from Julian Cope's band, for the sessions. The new album, Let It Come Down, which featured an even lusher, more involved sound than Ladies and Gentlemen, was released in mid-2001. The follow-up, 2003's Amazing Grace, was more of a back-to-basics record. Songs in A and E arrived in spring 2008. In 2010, the band embarked on a tour performing Ladies and Gentlemen ... in its entirety, writing new songs influenced by that album -- as well as by the Beach Boys and Peter Brötzmann -- while they were on the road. Pierce and company laid the songs down at studios in Los Angeles, Wales and Reykjavik over the course of two years; the results, Sweet Heart Sweet Light, were released in March 2012.

more »

eMusic Features

0

Who Are…Mirror Travel

By Ian Cohen, Contributor

In the music industry's continually cratering economy, having a label completely fold on you is about as much of a rite of passage as getting signed in the first place. At least it makes for a better story, though Austin trio Mirror Travel can tell you how both of those situations feel. Their debut LP Mexico was more or less finished when Tiffanie Lanmon and Lauren Green were known as Follow That Bird, a band… more »

1

Six Degrees of Panda Bear’s Person Pitch

By Yancey Strickler, Contributor

It used to be easier to pretend that an album was its own perfectly self-contained artifact. The great records certainly feel that way. But albums are more permeable than solid, their motivations, executions and inspirations informed by, and often stolen from, their peers and forbearers. It all sounds awfully formal, but it's not. It's the very nature of music — of art, even. The Six Degrees features examine the relationships between classic records and five… more »

1

Six Degrees of Panda Bear’s Person Pitch

By Yancey Strickler, Contributor

It used to be easier to pretend that an album was its own perfectly self-contained artifact. The great records certainly feel that way. But albums are more permeable than solid, their motivations, executions and inspirations informed by, and often stolen from, their peers and forbearers. It all sounds awfully formal, but it's not. It's the very nature of music — of art, even. The Six Degrees features examine the relationships between classic records and five… more »

0

Interview: Jason Pierce

By Douglas Wolk, Contributor

Everything Jason Pierce does has a little bit of legend attached to it, from his late-'80s-era band Spacemen 3's motto "taking drugs to make music to take drugs to" to his long-running group Spiritualized's space-and-medicine motif. The creative process behind Spiritualized's new Songs in A & E was long and painful; midway through it, Pierce was hospitalized for double pneumonia. But he recuperated to turn the songs he'd already written into the core of a… more »

Activity

  • 10.01.16 RT @jprobichaud911: #NowPlaying #ontheturntable ...finally part of my vinyl collection Spiritualized's (@officialSpzd) 'Ladies and gentleme…
  • 10.01.16 Ladies and gentlemen we are floating in space... performed on Nov 7 and 8 in London. Final tickets available here https://t.co/V2o9FdyE97
  • 09.30.16 RT @pitchfork: Spiritualized (@officialSpzd) releasing new album next year, announce Ladies and Gentlemen... shows https://t.co/hsXbBA6Lxr…
  • 09.30.16 Ladies and gentleman... at the Barbican on November 8th. Tickets available now from https://t.co/V2o9FdyE97
  • 09.30.16 but we're very pleased to announce we will be playing a second and final night of Ladies and gentleman...
  • 09.30.16 Amazing to hear news of tickets for our London show sold out in just a few hours today...
  • 09.30.16 News coming in that the Barbican has sold out already.
  • 09.30.16 Tickets for our @BarbicanCentre show on 7th November are available now from https://t.co/V2o9FdyE97
  • 09.29.16 London, you have 12 hours.
  • 09.29.16 ...Joined on stage by a 15-piece orchestra (percussion, brass, strings) and a gospel choir. Tickets on sale 10am tomorrow (Friday).
  • 09.29.16 7TH NOVEMBER: BARBICAN HALL, LONDON: 'Ladies and gentlemen we are floating in space' live in its entirety: https://t.co/V2o9FdyE97
  • 09.29.16 All with heavy guns and the Barbican's wide screen stage as the backdrop… It's a real honour to be asked to play it there again.