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Pure Phase

Fat Possum

Released: 9th July 2021

CD£12.99Out of Stock
2xLP£28.99 Buy Now In Stock. Dispatched on Monday.

Glow In The Dark Vinyl

Pure Phase is the second album by Spiritualized, released on 28 March 1995. The album was recorded in the Moles Studio in Bath, England and features contributions from The Balanescu Quartet.

Pure Phase exists somewhere between the dreamy, narcotic drifts of Lazer Guided Melodies and the more assertive, gospelized music of Ladies And Gentlemen..., and while the latter record is justly praised, Pure Phase may actually be a better album; certainly it is a more cohesive and exemplary one.

There are two basic modes of song on it; the first is a breed of fluent, seemingly formless ebbs, often instrumental or nearly so, that take Lazer Guided Melodies' impressive tonal control and sense of restraint and flesh it out, blooming into Technicolour where the former effort too often remained sepia. These are often where Pierce's ever-present melancholia shows up; the stately “Let It Flow” may end with him declaring he would do it all again, but “The Slide Song” and “All Of My Tears” undercut that claim with an inexpressible ache. “Spread Your Wings” alone merits a reappraisal for Pure Phase; although similar in form, it is possible even better (although certainly not sadder) than Ladies And Gentlemen's “Broken Heart”.

Strewn throughout the album as counterpoints are louder songs; they're not any faster, and Pierce doesn't sing with any more vigor of emphasis than elsewhere, but instead of glide and flutter they're all gust and squall, often augmented with harmonica or saxophone. Pure Phase is deftly sequenced so that these songs always spring up right when the album and listener are in danger of lapsing into a stupour, so that (for example) the surging “Lay Back In The Sun” punctuates the end of the hypnotic “Electric Mainline”. As a result Pure Phase showcases both the doped, anesthetic grandeur that is bedrock part of Spiritualized's sound as well as the noise/space rock that is their more immediate side. No album after this would capture their disembodied weightlessness, even at their loudest, nearly as well.

At the time of release, Pierce had renamed the band as "Spiritualized Electric Mainline", the name that appears on the album cover, before reverting to the Spiritualized name shortly afterwards.