I am absolutely honoured to be premiering one of the tracks from the re-release of this Alpha Stone album. For the uninitiated Alpha Stone was the band that Spacemen 3’s Pete ‘Bassman’ Bain formed after the demise of his previous band The Darkside.
‘Stereophonic Pop Art Music’ was released in various formats back in 1996, including as a cut back 10″ EP, but this is the first time that it has had a full vinyl release, thanks to the wonderful Hoga Nord Archiv label, some twenty two years later. The question is, what does it sound like after all this time in its sonic purgatory? Well it’s weird but it seems to sound more contemporary and vital than it did all those years ago. It seems that the musical scene has re-invented itself and the ‘psych’ genre, for want of a better term, has developed to the extent that this feels like it finally has its place in the pantheon of releases.
Now expanded to twelve tracks this is an album that, for me, moves on from Bassman’s previous bands and has its own identity with more of an emphasis on driving beats and synths above the fuzz and drang of Spacemen and The Darkside. There is also something lighter and less encumbered about the way these tracks bounce along. Yes there’s an element of pop here, check out ‘Transfixed’ for instance, but they are not pop songs.
To be completely honest I’d forgotten about Alpha Stone, I’d kind of moved on to different things by the time the mid-nineties hit anyway. What I can say is that I’m damn pleased that our paths have crossed again because this is an album that deserves to be discovered, re-discovered and re-assessed. What’s more now that it’s finally available in full in all its vinyl glory there really is no excuse not to jump aboard and hear it for yourself.
‘Stereophonic Pop Art Music’ is available to pre-order now from Hoga Nord Archiv records here.
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