And you’d seen J Spaceman twice in real life, in perhaps not so unlikely locations. At the premiere of the film Control whenever that was – 2007 maybe, at the Edinburgh Film Festival. And at the after-event party for the premiere of the film Trash Humpers a couple of years later. On a boat in Lambeth, which is listing. You get introduced to Harmony Korine, and a slightly reserved agnès b. but no Spaceman introduction, which is probably just as well – because what do you say to the dude who wrote one of the best records you ever heard?
And your perceptions of a record are your own. This one, to me, is bigger than the 90s rock/pop milieu/context it appeared in, or the world. And that was just the outside. From the medical blister-pack that contained it (you actually had to break foil to get to the CD) to the small piece of paper in the box with notes on dosage and contraindications, this was something else.
Sure, there’s a similarity with Damien Hirst’s Pharmacy here – but the difference is in the fact that this was just the container. Hirst’s immaculate presentations – for structural reasons, didn’t hold anything. So you got this and you went inside and, and, and …
Boom. A frail voice intones the words of Elvis: „Wise men say only fools rush in, only fools rush in. But I, I cant help falling, falling in love with you“.
ODB’s son said that prior to his passing, he saw angels.
The frailness and the conviction in the voice here are unusual – definitely not your average rock vox. The otherworldly intermittent beeps in the background suggest space/hospital machinery. Patterns of notes descend, lifted up by their own fading cycles of repetition.
Is the protagonist seeing dancing angel photons in his peripheral vision? In the story that follows, death (or at least a sharp acknowledgement of it) is in every frame. This record is maybe a bit like a Carlito’s Way style film narrative – the end is place it all starts.
Ladies and gentleman we are floating in space will be 20 years old next year. Ignore the write ups, and instead just listen – or maybe open up a lyrics site and practice singing to the vocal numbers.