One of my first loves in music. Funny to think how much the world has changed in the last 10-15 years. Perhaps most of you are too young to realize, but until the mid 90′s it was close to impossible to get any of their recordings at any place in the world but the UK, and I don’t even mean an official release, it could be a homemade cassete, anything. Haha, I don’t think at that time a regular kid could ever imagine the Internet, downloads and all these things that seem to be inside our DNA nowadays.
So, I remember back in 1995 when I finally got my first album, a CD from Spacemen 3. It was in NYC, in a small basement store at the East Village. It was one of those magical music related experiences, finding something I was about to give up. That store was the best I had seen thus far. They had all official releases of them and pretty much any other band you can think of, plus a lot of bootlegs. That’s another thing, it was much harder less than 15 years ago. Today if you love a band you can download it. In the recent past you first needed to find a place that had it for sale, then you needed to have the money to buy it. I didn’t have the money. In the end I only bought this one. I had just got some others about 2 years later when in Europe, but man, this was one of the very few albums that I literally knew entirely. The CD player was always on repeat. Insane. Then, a bit later, I started to judge the quality of record stores by the amount of different Spacemen 3 titles they were selling. Trust me, at the end of the 20th century this kind of filter used to make sense. If a store was selling an album by a cult band from some other place on the globe, that was a fucking great store. It was a huge world. The local bands were just that, local. You or your friends needed to travel to different countries, dive into their respective scenes, and then come back home to show what you got, like if it was a trophy. Are you following me? You know those old, old, photos of animals hunted? It was close. And the cults used to begin that way. And the word cult was proper, in the sense of concentration. Not from my time, but as an illustration, Bowie goes to live in Berlin and his music gets intoxicated by the place. Before the Internet, before traveling becomes so affordable, even if you were already a really well established artist, to go and live in another place, and mind you Berlin is really close to London, could make deep turns to the way you deal with things. The cultural shock we watch in “Lost in Translation” was so much deeper and used to happen in any direction, not only very distant locations. Spacemen 3 was also my introduction to older bands like Suicide, The 13th Floor Elevators and The Red Krayola. They even had an album titled “Taking Drugs to Make Music to Taking Drugs to”.Â That was seduction to a kid willing to know more, willing to know better. They were full of references – intelligent ones. They made a live record, “Dreamweapon”, consisting of 45 minutes of distorted guitars. Fuck, a cool band didn’t use to make those kind of things back then. Hypnotic. Extreme. The vocals are so slack. Slow ambiances. I’m writing all this because after 5 years or so I just listened to this album again. You know, kinda like that old girlfriend you will always love but life moves on and relationships aren’t supposed to last, but sometimes, sometimes you two see each other and get together and everything is right and makes total sense. Listen up.
Things’ll Never Be the Same
Take Me to the Other Side
Transparent Radiation (Flashback)