Spacemen 3: Recurring (1991)

One of the truly great headphone albums, Recurring is an hour or so of psychedelic drones, electronic buzz, fizzy guitars, and hushed vocals wedded to loose and repetitive song structures. It can serve as the perfect accompaniment to your hallucinogenic drug of choice or in lieu of same.

It's also a little hard to nail down exactly what constitutes the proper album. The original vinyl tracklist differs from the CD I have, and the later remastered CD I picked up changes the line-up further while subbing in some even longer versions of a few tracks. But if you can track down some version of this baby, it'll be worth the effort. [NOTE: At the time of this post, the album was unavailable on streaming media; it has since shown up on Spotify; link below.]

By the time this was recorded, the band had all but broken up, resulting in essentially two solo albums melded together. The first half is largely the work of Peter Kember (who'd go on to form Spectrum), while the second half is mostly Jason Pierce (who'd then form the far more successful Spiritualized). Interestingly, while I'm much more a fan of Spiritualized, I'm more partial to Kember's songs here, but the whole album is pretty damn trippy and awesome.

Opening track "Big City" has this great pulsing drone and repetitive lyrics and basically goes on forever (at least on the non-condensed version), one of my favorites by the band. "Why Couldn't I See" is another great hypnotic groove, as is the at times lovely "Set Me Free/I've Got The Key." Meanwhile, the Pierce stuff on the second half is a little more mellow and ambient, but still finds its own intense vibe.

Apparently the only track on which both Kember and Pierce play is a cover of Mudhoney's dark, Hawkwind-like space epic "When Tomorrow Hits" (which, again, I have on my cd but doesn't appear to have been part of the original album).

Here's the video for an edited verison of "Big City":
Here's someone's home video set to "Why Couldn't I See":
And here's a video for "Hypnotized":
Here's a post-break-up live version of "When Tomorrow Hits" from Kember's band Spectrum:
And I'm throwing this out here just 'cuz, WTF?  It's the album's "Just To See You Smile" segued into Brian Eno's "Becalmed" (my favorite insomnia-fighting track ever), accompanied by what appears to be a thoroughly random slideshow.  Whatever, enjoy.