5.12.10

FLYING SAUCER ATTACK : In Search Of Spaces (1996)

FSA (f)
FSA
I was up in Manchester a couple of weekends ago &, during my usual slightly frantic trawl of the city's record shops, spotted that Vinyl Exchange had a copy of this Flying Saucer Attack CD, tagged at a crippling £50!

An atmospheric mosaic of gentle psych-folk melodies ("rural psychedelia") & jarring freeform feedback, Flying Saucer Attack (named after a Rezillos song, of all things) started out as the solo project of Dave Pearce ("guitar, vocals, noise"), with on/off help from then-girlfriend Rachel Brook (drums). Formed in Bristol in the early 90s, FSA spearheaded a transient low-fi shoegaze "revival" that embraced several other loosely connected & similarly minded local acts, including Light, Crescent, Third Eye Foundation, Amp & Brook's own, apparitional Movietone. Starting out as a bedroom-based DIY operation & initially recording on a domestic hi-fi tape deck, FSA's limited edition, hand-assembled early vinyl releases (via 1st generation Avon punk label Heartbeat Productions) were not only wildly collectible but also musically unorthodox enough to attract the attention of ace U.S. underground label VHF &, eventually, our own Domino Reccord (latterly the Tesco of alt-rock), both of whom issued several excellent FSA collections over the next few years .

In Search Of Spaces was released on Bruce Russell's sadly dormant Corpus Hermeritcum label in 1996 in a once-only edition of 1000. It's a 50-minute assemblage of extracts from a number of FSA live performances, recorded on the band's only bona fide tour in 1994 & spliced 'n' diced by Russell himself. It contains no songs as such, just collaged (often overlapping) sections of unstructured, experimental, strung out improvisation - the spaces between the songs in fact. It's strictly limited pressing & long term unavailability means that it's been unjustly written off as a peripheral release despite it being one of FSA's most interesting & impressive works, rivaling both the enduring "Soaring High" 7" & their landmark John Peel sessions. It's definitely worth grabbing a hard copy for yourself if you can find it at a reasonable price (i.e.less than 50 quid!) - it's packaged in a lovely, tactile letterpress cardboard sleeve with a selection of unusual hand-printed odds & ends secreted within. Nice.

5 comments:

  1. (^_^)


    A big inspiration for this song, actually.

    http://aboombong.bandcamp.com/track/from-cracked-and-bloodied-fingers

    Not to mention this one.
    http://www.archive.org/download/Choke-gauzetotalReverence/03Shine.mp3

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  2. Splash15426.1.12

    Is this the same Flying Saucer Attack who were on the "Swim Team No2" CD from around 1996? Swim records being Wire's Colin Newman's label along with wife Malka Spigel during that time.

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  3. Erm, don't think so... but I've been wrong many, MANY times before! This FSA were a couple of fey indie kids from Bristol with a mangy 4-track. They started out as bedroom MBV types but evolved into something quite ferocious & odd, as typified by the above CD... I'll post some more (rare) FSA next, OK?

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  4. Anonymous10.10.12

    Don't know how many copies made their way to Australia, but I was lucky enough to get one. It has been the soundtrack for my sleep so many times of the last 14 years or so (including some rather long stretches of every-night listening!) that I dare not guess a number. It's a truly sublime experience.
    Brad.

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  5. Cheers Brad, I might try playing this tonight actually, thanks for the reminder!

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