SpaceFest presents a brief documentary about the latest experience with Pure Phase Ensemble. In its current incarnation, the collective is led by a true legend: Anton Newcombe of The Brian Jonestown Massacre, along with with Emil Nikolaisen of Scandinavian rock band Serena Maneesh.
Filmed by RSU / Agencja Vizualna, this film presents a sneak preview of what is to come on the ‘Live at SpaceFest!’ album and the story behind Pure Phase Ensemble 6. Every December during Gdansk’s illustrious SpaceFest!, an eclectic group of musicians from across Poland are joined by a guest curator from abroad to form Pure Phase Ensemble. The group’s makeup constantly changes, guided by the artistic vision of a new curator every year and directed by Karol Schwarz of Nasiono Records who has been responsible for its musical cohesion from the very outset.
Through improvisation at a workshop organized by Nasiono Records and SpaceFest!, the musicians produce a set of unique songs during a week-long workshop ahead of the festival at the Łaźnia 2 Centre for Contemporary Art in the city’s Nowy Port district, seeking 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.
Anton Newcombe espoused one rule for this experiment – that there are no rules when making music… and one standard… “get weirder… be heavy. and dreamy. but not pointless”.
Pure Phase Ensemble 6 is comprised of 8 musicians, including six from emerging Polish alternative bands:
Karol Schwarz (7faz, KSAS) – guitar, vocals
Olga Mysłowska (Polpo Motel) – vocals, keyboard
Maciej Karmiński (Jesień) – drums
Marcin Lewandowski (Judy’s Funeral, Castlings, Soon) – bass guitar
Jakub Żwirełło (Oslo Kill City, Szezlong) – guitar
Kacper Graczyk (Aiodine, coding) – electronic beats, synths, backing vocals
“I prefer to hear the sound bouncing off the walls and most festivals are outside and have time limits and various handicaps…I am more or less a jazz folk guy, I’m not an entertainer there to jump up and down and get you pumped…I just do as I feel…,”says Anton Newcombe. “I see myself as an idea person. I play like 80 instruments in as many ways as I can reinvent them because I am not a virtuoso… I want to contribute to Polish culture by writing at least one song that is worth listening to.”
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). Nasiono Records’ very own Karol Schwarz (7faz, KSAS) has been responsible for the Ensemble’s musical cohesion from the very outset.
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. While the workshop itself is organized by the Nasiono Association in cooperation with the Łaźnia Centre for Contemporary Art and Żak Club, this festival is co-financed by the City of Gdańsk.
Look forward to Pure Phase Ensemble 6 ‘Live at SpaceFest!’, to be released on CD and digitally later in 2017.