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Coachella 2011: Spiritualized as the new spa treatment?


The psychedelic and spacey atmospheres of Spirtualized have always had a hypnotic effect on the listener, and such a feel was brought to life at Coachella, manifested in a makeshift, cathedral-like house. Walk inside, and one is asked to pause in a pitch-black room; the switch from the hot desert sun into nothingness can be jarring.

Yet once inside, visitors can bid farewell to the mix of noise that constantly permeates the Coachella campgrounds. Instead, the music in the walk-in art installation is all by British drone rock band Spirtualized, specifically one song: "Ladies and Gentlemen, We Are Flowing in Space." The design was a collaboration among Spirtualizeds J. Spaceman, filmmaker Jonathan Glazer ("Sexy Beast," "Birth") and architects Undisclosable. Its one of many Creators Project works at Coachella this year -- a tech/art partnership between Vice and Intel.

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The Spirtualized project was "conceptualized as a cathadrial setting," said one of the teams Coachella staffers ("I think Ill get in trouble if my name is published without checking with our communications department," she said, opting not to give her name). The pop-up chapel has five different window-like slots. Theyre not pure windows, however, as theyre designed to laser-point light beams onto the ground. Stand in one, and listeners will hear isolated Spirtualized tracks -- Spacemans repeated vocals in one, or just a keyboard in a nother. Step outside, and its all meshed with white noise.

"I think I have one Spirtualized CD, and I think its a live one," said Eduardo Bernal, 28, of Phoenix. "Its not a band I usually go to, unless I want peaceful music that isnt boring.

"But this is really cool. I didnt know what to expect. Everyone expects it will be like the rest of Coachella, with lights and neon, but this is not that."

Added bonus: Its air-conditioned.

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-- Todd Martens

Photo: Inside a sound and light sculpture by Jonathan Glazer, J. Spaceman and Undisclosable at Coachella. Credit: Todd Martens / Los Angeles Times

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