When it came to light that there was a new album out from the Spiritczualic Enhancement Center recently I realised that, on checking back, that I had not written anything about them before. This despite the Berlin collective’s debut. ‘Me and My Students Have Reached Higher Levels’ making my ‘Essential list’ in 2019, and I completely lost sight of 2020’s release ‘Transporting Salt’, and their 2018 debut album ‘Who Corrupted Our Wave, Back in 1969?’… maybe it’s because the latter two came out on cassette… who knows?
What I do know is that everyone of these albums is brilliant in its own right… and also singularly unique in its own right, or even in its own rite. That’s because the is something quite spiritual in these recordings… a sort of numinal elements which, of course, you cannot quite put your finger on.
As far as I can discern the collective, which describes itself as “a spectral trance-jazz ensemble with a psychedelic-punk methodology” began in Jerusalem on Christmas Day 2017, and is now based in Berlin. I have had a constant issue trying to spell its name correctly, but the explanation of it is thus… “Spiritczualic (“cz” borrowed from the Polish / tʂ / hard “tch”) – a word-melange of ritualic and spiritual, reflects upon the ancient practice of musical ritualism”. As an improvisational collective, this definitely fits the sort of discussions about ‘Sonic Mindfullness‘ that I considered recently with William Sol… I imagine that there is a lot of ‘low agency’ in play when these musicians are playing.
…as such I have found it difficult to explain what it going on within these recordings, let alone what is going on for me when I am listening to them. Usually whether I listen and writing I find myself moved to put something down in a way which explains how I am reacting with the music.. and on occasion the musician in question contacts me to say that this was the sort of experience they had too. But here… with these recordings… as soon as I get into them I find my mind drifting away from the matter in hand and just existing somewhere else.
There is simply too much going on here on all sorts of levels to be able to do this music anything close to justice. Instead I have provided links to the four releases above and let you experience it for yourself. Unbelievably there are still physical copies of all the albums on these Bandcamp pages (at the time of writing)… so do explore them and the fantastic labels that have released this music…
So, coming back to my first point, it seems that there might be a reason why I haven’t written about the Spiritczualic Enhancement Center before… it is because I find their music to be ineffable… their influences too far embedded into their own collective and individual psyche… so instead of further trying to verbalise this music I’ll leave it to Wittgenstein’s classic quotation at the end of his Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus:
“Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent”
Simply experience and enjoy!
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