Capturing the essence of a live show is never easy. A lot of footage gives the impression that some of the artists are phoning it in, actually. But not the case with Pure Phase Ensemble 6 ft. Anton Newcombe and the new video for the live version of “God Drugs”. This is more of an artistic immersion. An immersion delving further and further into an event that is every bit an experience as it is a concert. While giving off the vibe of the sonic successor to Woodstock and Altamont, this glimpse into a live performance of musical storytellers and mood-setters gives a glimpse of solid emotion set physically on a stage. A stage of imagination.
About Pure Phase Ensemble
Pure Phase Ensemble is an eclectic rotating group of musicians, who come together every year in December during Gdansk’s illustrious SpaceFest!,. The group’s makeup constantly changes, guided by the artistic vision of a new curator every year and directed by Anna Szynwelska and Karol Schwarz of Nasiono Records , who has been responsible for its musical cohesion from the very outset.
This current incarnation was led by a true legend: Anton Newcombe of The Brian Jonestown Massacre, along with Emil Nikolaisen of Scandinavian rock band Serena Maneesh. The six other musicians involved this year were drawn from various Polish alternative bands. They include Karol Schwarz (7faz, KSAS), Olga Mysłowska (Polpo Motel), Maciej Karmiński (Jesień), Marcin Lewandowski (Judy’s Funeral, Castlings, Soon), Jakub Żwirełło (Oslo Kill City, Szezlong), and Kacper Graczyk (Aiodine, coding).
Just ahead of SpaceFest!, Nasiono Records hosts a workshop, with musicians improvising to produce a set of unique songs. These intensive sessions take place at Laznia Centre for Contemporary Art in the city’s Nowy Port district, the artists gathering inspiration amidst its post-industrial atmosphere. The festival then culminates in this music being performed and recorded in real time for the inevitable album release.
‘God Drugs’ is one of the seven tracks recorded for this album. Underlying the importance of festivals like this, Anton Newcombe says, “turn on the fucking radio…then turn it back off. That shit is bad for you. erm…lets have an urban contemporary rap festival everywhere and see what happens. Let’s have more DJ festivals…name one fucking important DJ now that people will respect in 30 years…name a record besides some classic jam that anyone at a club cares about. It’s all disposable. We are all trying to create our own culture because Western culture is dead”.
“I want to help establish SpaceFest! as one of the most important cultural events in Poland and totally relevant in Europe. I would like to be involved on a deeper level. I want to integrate culturally, artistically with all of Europe…well not the fascist part haha, not the neocons…not the Polanski eyes wide shut fuckers… but the artists”.
Another outcome of this latest SpaceFest! is a collaboration between Anton Newcombe and PPE 6 member Kacper Graczyk, which resulted in the track ‘Not Blowing Smoke Up Your Ass’.
In past incarnations of Pure Phase Ensemble, the group was curated by Mark Gardener (Ride), Laetitia Sadier (Stereolab), Ray Dickaty (Spiritualized), Steve Hewitt (Placebo), Jaime Harding (Marion), Chris Olley (Six By Seven), and Hugo Race (The Bad Seeds, The True Spirit).
SpaceFest! has figuratively transformed Gdansk into the intergalactic capital of Poland, presenting psychedelic music at its best with shoegaze, Krautrock and space-rock plus cosmic energy, intergalactic cats, forest goblins, psyched visuals, pagan disco and more. The workshop is organized by the Nasiono Association in cooperation with the Laznia Centre for Contemporary Art, and is co-financed by the City of Gdansk.
Clocking in at just over 44 minutes and priced at just €6.99 ($8.22), Pure Phase Ensemble 6 ‘Live at SpaceFest!’ will be released on CD and digitally on September 29, but can already be pre-ordered via Bandcamp.