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There has never been a better album to just fucking lose it to than Screamadelica

Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo, an obscure musician you may know as one half of Daft Punk, called it the album “that put everything together”. How right he was.

Screamadelica, the 1991 genre-bender from Primal Scream, was nothing short of a landmark. Being one of the only albums in existence to extract a pull quote from Daft Punk should be enough to put this into perspective, but that’s barely where praise for the record starts.

bobby gillespie primal scream screamadelica vanessa nguyen illustration

Illustration by Vanessa Nguyen. Read our interview with Bobby Gillespie here.

More than the far-seeing amalgam it’s consistently credited as, Screamadelica was the spark which ignited Primal Scream’s bottomless potential energy.

Primal Scream tortured themselves with some of the most testing early years in music history. Worn down to mere husks by a constantly shifting roster and the overshadowing success of Bobby Gillespie’s other act The Jesus and Mary Chain, their first flirtations scooted just sideways of rock’s zeitgeist.

Their debut LP Sonic Flower Groove was celebrated only retroactively, and their self-titled followup wasn’t celebrated at all. What Primal Scream had was energy and despite every immoveable object they butted against, they were destined to perpetually spin forward into indie music’s cannon.

Screamadelica was the eventual realisation of that momentum, it’s catalyst a series of “lifestyle changes” afforded to the band during the early ’90s. Through Andrew McGee they were first touched by Britain’s emergent rave scene, and it wasn’t long before they were seduced completely.

Whether it was exposure to the hypnotic rhythms of acid house, the ingestion of a synonymous substance or the caress of others who called this riotous new scene home, Primal Scream were affected forever. The sweat and blood of dance music’s most explosive and hedonistic moments ever were decanted into Screamadelica, and hereby Gillespie and co. would “put everything together”.

The record features a small representation from Gillespie vocally, yet his touch pervades the tracklist with the devilish enthusiasm of an ecstasy-mashed raver waiting on the DJ’s next selection. Hand in hand with Gillespie were producers Andrew Weatherall and Terry Farley, injecting Screamadelica with the necessary sounds of its time.

For the first time Primal Scream employed samples on near every track, loading in everything from mindless junkie-speak to experimental German rock interjections. Screamadelica howled with the force of a volcano, with a catharsis so strong it never stopped spewing fire.

From the self-inflicted whisperings of hurt and happiness on Damaged to debauchee anthem Loaded, each track on Screamadelica explodes with the heat of a world wanting to let go. It married the heaven-sent escapism of rock with the dirtied masochism of underground dance music, a combination infinitely more addictive than the sum of its parts.

The music we rave to may have warped, but the idealism behind it remains. And nothing has ever captured it like Screamadelica did.

 

Primal Scream will be touring Australia in February 2018 for the first time in five years. Catch the dates below, and grab your tickets here.

Thursday 15th February – Metropolis, Perth
Friday 16th February – HQ, Adelaide
Sunday 18th February – Forum Theatre, Melbourne
Tuesday 20th February – Enmore Theatre, Sydney
Wednesday 21st February – The Tivoli, Brisbane

FIND OUT MORE

November 30, 2017

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