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Flying Saucer Attack

Formed in Bristol, England in 1992, the elusive avant-noise space-rock project Flying Saucer Attack primarily comprised the duo of singer/guitarists David Pearce and Rachel Brook, refugees from the group Lynda's Strange Vacation who formed FSA as an outlet for their interest in home-recording experimentation (they stuck to a D.I.Y. aesthetic and shunned recording studios as much as possible). Drawing influence from Krautrock, folk, and dream pop, they bowed with the single "Soaring High," followed by an eponymously titled 1993 debut LP that buried the group's narcoleptic vocals and amorphous songs under dense, organic sheets of feedback. The group's initial releases were self-released on their own FSA Records in small, vinyl-only editions with handmade packaging. The group disliked compact discs, vastly preferring vinyl, but quickly increasing interest in their music caused them to reluctantly issue their music in the CD format, beginning with VHF's American release of their first full-length. FSA signed to Domino in the U.K., who released Distance, a collection of atmospheric singles and unreleased material, in 1994. Joining the Drag City roster in the United States, FSA emerged in 1995 with Further, a remarkably evocative work that transported the group's hypnotic guitar wash into a uniquely pastoral setting. Chorus, another singles compilation, followed later in the year, and with it came a declaration of the end of the group's initial phase, setting the stage for Flying Saucer Attack's continued evolution as one of the decade's most innovative and ambitious groups. Following Distant Station (a Tele:Funken album utilizing FSA samples, credited to both artists) and In Search of Spaces (a noisy 50-minute collage of live recordings), both released in 1996, 1997's New Lands was the first fruit of this new FSA, now a Pearce solo project exploring the possibilities of sampling. Brook, meanwhile, focused on her side group Movietone, a similarly blissed-out excursion into sound. Following New Lands and a 7" single ("Coming Home"), FSA left Domino, resurrecting FSA Records for the release of Mirror in 2000. The album contained some of the project's quietest, folkiest material, as well as blown-out excursions into drum'n'bass similar to Third Eye Foundation, whose Matt Elliott contributed to FSA's debut album. Pearce ceased recording new FSA material, although he periodically released limited collections of rare and archival recordings, including a split CD with Main and White Winged Moth as part of the Mort Aux Vaches series, 2003 CD-R release P.A. Blues, and 2012 LP Heartbeat/Complete. Pearce collaborated with Jessica Bailiff for a one-off project called Clear Horizon, whose self-titled album was released by Kranky in 2003. (Bailiff also played guitar on a track called "Flying Saucer Attack" on Odd Nosdam's 2005 Anticon full-length Burner.) After a 15-year hiatus, Pearce resumed making music as Flying Saucer Attack, returning to Domino and Drag City for the release of full-length Instrumentals 2015.
© Jason Ankeny & Paul Simpson /TiVo


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