Spacemen 3 – Playing With Fire (Fire) 1989


Spacemen 3 were a strange anomaly at the end of the 1980’s. This was the time of the fall of acid house, the rise of the  US underground, Nick Cave’s Tender Prey, The Fall’s flirtation with Fontana records and the start of shoegazing and more importantly My Bloody Valentine. It was a time when the drug culture was skipping hand in hand with the music of the time so overtly, it would have made Woodstock blush. Spacemen 3 were certainly up to their eyeballs in the  drug culture because any  casual listen of Playing with Fire conjures up images of LSD and Heroin in equal amounts. The reason why they were different is that they embraced the sonic minimalism of Suicide and the drugged out, repetitive, mean, psychedelia of Chrome to produce something which is almost undefinable. This was really their last record as a band per se. The relationship between Piece and Kember completely broke down after this record and the follow up, Recurring, is basically Kember and Pierce playing their tracks solo. We all know of course that Pierce went on to form Spiritualised and Kember went underground with his E.A.R. project, but on Playing With Fire you can start picking the paths they would later take. Kembers tracks are all unrelenting determination, the heroin just drips from them. Pierce’s contributions have more soul and reverence – the perfect soundtrack to your next morning come down. Listen to Spiritualised and you’ll get what I mean. I always liked Kembers tracks the best and they certainly dominate Playing With Fire which must be the reason I think this is the best thing they ever did.

2 Responses to “Spacemen 3 – Playing With Fire (Fire) 1989”

  1. simonminter Says:

    Oooh I love this album. Possibly their best I would suggest?

  2. awesome band. to bad never saw them live.

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