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Dig through any collection of fuzzy, spacey garage-rock band albums from the last three decades and, chances are, you'll find more than a few from J. Spaceman (aka Jason Pierce). From the raw psychedelic thrum of Spacemen 3's Sound of Confusion and the self-explanatory Taking Drugs to Make Music to Take Drugs To (just recently reissued via Superior Viaduct along with four other out-of-print titles) to the arena-sized space-rock of Spiritualized's Ladies & Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space, J. Spaceman has touched the celestial airwaves with psychedelic soul.
Since 1990, Spiritualized has acted as an outlet for J. Spaceman's grand vision, increasingly incorporating choirs and horn sections for something of a psych-soul revue. But for the new Spiritualized album, out Sept. 7, J. Spaceman made And Nothing Hurt entirely on his own in his east London home, detailed in a press release:
"Making this record on my own sent me more mad than anything I've done before. We'd been playing these big shows and I really wanted to capture that sound we were making, but without having the funds to do so, I had to find a way to work within the constraints of what money I had. So I bought a laptop and made it all in a little room in my house.
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"With a bit of trial and lot of error, I found ways of doing something that's quite simple if you've got the resources. I spent two weeks listening to classical records and strumming the chord that I wanted on my guitar. When I found something to match what I wanted, I'd sample that bit and go for the next chord and try to match that. It took weeks, trying to put together and layer convincing string sounds. But, if I'm honest, all I wanted was for someone to come and play the part and bring their own thing to the record."
Watch the video for "I'm Your Man" above (featuring J. Spaceman as an astronaut journeying through the desert all by his lonesome self) or listen to "A Perfect Miracle." You'd never guess that he painstakingly layered and mixed those lush strings, Memphis soul-inspired guitar licks, warm horn arrangements and booming percussion outside the studio.
And Nothing Hurt comes out Sept. 7 via Fat Possum. Track list and artwork below:
1. "A Perfect Miracle"
2. "I'm Your Man"
3. "Here It Comes (The Road) Let's Go"
4. "Let's Dance"
5. "On The Sunshine"
7. "The Morning After"
8. "The Prize"
9. "Sail On Through"