Friday, May 18, 2012

20 Essential Albums: The Vortex Flower

I had the benefit of knowing the members of Space Team Electra and maybe that makes me a little bias. I knew them when they went by the name Dive, hung out with them, played shows with them.  I probably still would have liked them even if their music hadn’t been this good.  But it was awe-inspiring. To put it mildly.

The Vortex Flower came out in 1998, long after I’d seen them the first time, after they’d dropped some of the songs I’d liked best live.  But the album was no let down.  From the first strums of “Shadow” as the drums come in, Space Team Electra proves to be force.  The songs transcend and sore, dripping and dreamy, loud and pounding.

Of course, Space Team Electra would not be the same without the voice of Myshel Prasad. Listen closely to “Luminous Crush.” From the first line, “I’ve seen an angel lose his wings in flight before,” she sings softly, gently, as if it is only the two of you in the room.  But by the time the chorus comes on, she’s loud.  She has something important to declare when she sings “I tried to give my heart and soul and mind away / but you don’t understand a single word I say.”  Whomever she is singing to should really regret that.

I would take another twenty albums that sound like The Vortex Flower. Space Team Electra did put out another full-length, The Intergalactic Torch Song, but it would hard for anything else they would do to sound like this.  I’d been happy to listen, though.

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