Spacemen 3

Transparent Radiation EP

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Following on from the Walkin' With Jesus single, Transparent Radiation was as crucial a step in the transformation of Spacemen 3 into a truly unique band, heralding the upcoming Perfect Prescription album in just the right way. The core of the single was two different takes on the title cut, a gentle cover of the Red Krayola psych classic, drumming barely there, with guest violin from Owen John. The first take features double-tracked vocals and sudden bursts of higher volume, while the second is the full version from Perfect Prescription itself, with a longer instrumental beginning. In between the two versions was an equally fascinating song, "Ecstasy Symphony," an instrumental drone/flange/feedback composition of textures by Sonic that's pure electronic bliss and float. Appearing only in an edited form on Perfect Prescription, here it's at its full sweeping length, including spoken word portions at the beginning and end by Sonic, plus violin from John. Two more cuts filled out this striking (and practically album-length) release, the first being another song familiar from The Perfect Prescription, "Things'll Never Be the Same," here in a slightly different version with clearer (or perhaps simply different) vocals and varying guitar solos. The final song, meanwhile, also visited someone else's material -- "Starship," the Sun Ra composition reworked by the MC5 and made famous via its appearance on Kick Out the Jams. Spacemen 3 do the song proud, kicking up a loud noise and then some with its halfway to freeform megasprawl.

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