This album is the precursor to Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space, which is the most well-known and critically acclaimed album from British rock group Spiritualized, and our September 2020 Essentials Record of the Month.
The lineup fluctuated during the recording of Pure Phase, with the band eventually reduced to a core trio of Jason Pierce, Kate Radley and Sean Cook. Previous members Mark Refoy and Jonny Mattock performed the main guitar and drums sections respectively, but by the time of album release, both men had been sacked from the band. At the time of its release in 1995, Pierce had renamed the band "Spiritualized Electric Mainline," the name that appears on the album cover, before reverting to the Spiritualized name shortly afterward.
The first four Spiritualized records are the sound of J Spaceman finding his way through the cosmos; bumping into debris, soaring over stars, crash landing onto bleak, lonely landscapes then taking off again, sometimes spinning around uncontrollably until he finds somewhere sublime that he can rest his head for a while, until the restless soul takes flight again.
Spiritualized push the systems and machinations of rock ’n’ roll music to stretch as far as they will go, experimenting with blues, gospel, modern classical, freeform jazz and abstract noise but with simple nursery rhyme pop song ideas at the center of the whirlwind. Sometimes out of the tornados emerge moments of sublime, pristine clarity. Other times, the whirlwind just lays waste to your life.