Every December, the Polish city of Gdansk undergoes a brightly-lit, electronic and reverb-filled transformation from its former drab legacy as a Soviet port to one that clearly demonstrates that this is a city of the future and of the cosmos. The SpaceFest music festival is the key to this sonic makeover, gathering fans of eclectic, spacey, dreamy, and gazey music under one roof for an entire week. Organized by the Nasiono Association, one of the offerings of this annual event is the collective known as Pure Phase Ensemble.
Pure Phase Ensemble is a collaborative music project created especially for SpaceFest and is fashioned in a somewhat revolving-door style, similar to how 4AD’s This Mortal Coil used to operate. In this case, there are two personalities who are permanent members of the project and they are joined by a new set of musicians from Poland each year, plus one invited internationally-recognized musician as a guest director. This person then helps to lead the pack for a solid week of workshops and joint songwriting, culminating in a performance of their creations at the end of SpaceFest.
The permanent members of Pure Phase Ensemble are the two musical directors Ray Dickaty, a British saxophonist improviser and former member of Spiritualized, and Karol Schwarz (KSAS), who also manages Nasiono Records. This past SpaceFest saw Mark Gardener of RIDE, the frontman of celebrated shoegaze pioneers RIDE, assume the role of guest curator.
“For me, this is interesting – it’s perfect because it reminds me in some ways of how some of the early RIDE songs came together… I didn’t come in with a script; nor does Ray. There is no pre-work on this. It was just completely spontaneous,” explains Mark Gardener.
Today we offer you the exclusive premiere of the video for “Morning Rise” by Pure Phase Ensemble 4 feat. Mark Gardener. The track represents Gardener’s first proper shoegaze / space-rock release in over a decade.
The track can be found on Pure Phase Ensemble’s newly-released LP Live at SpaceFest and also on Bandcamp, iTunes and the Nasiono Records website.