The name “Flying Saucer Attack” is loaded with signifiers of space. It’s something founder Dave Pearce often felt ire towards — sure, his music was laced with cresting waves of droning feedback and grainy atmosphere, but it didn’t often evoke thoughts of aimlessly traversing the universe so much as patiently admiring it from the ground. The vaguely pastoral elements of FSA’s sound suggest a more observant style of cosmic contemplation; one more content to figuratively sit upon a hill and watch the clouds be replaced with stars than to actually evoke psychedelic explorations, or anything not rooted somehow to the physical realm. This is partly why In Search of Spaces sounds comparatively more “otherworldly” than any of FSA’s studio records, though the literal hands of others also have much to do with this.
Seamlessly woven together by the Dead C’s Bruce Russell from a collection of audience-captured FSA live recordings, the unbroken fifty minutes of In Search of Spaces is as much the result of others as Pearce himself. This tapestry of live occurrences doesn’t present songs so much as the smeared accounts of live FSA sightings, abstracted by multiplicity yet given a sense of focus by Russell’s tape arrangements. Though largely characterized by the blurring of drones and ever-present feedback, vaguely guiding beacons of sound emerge from the dense fog of tape hiss — sounds like unrecognizable snippets of voice, occasional drums that fade in and out of audibility, and guitar feedback emanating as if it were bellowed from the depths of a cave. The overall effect is not unlike coming across a dossier of damaged recollections, which tempts me to link In Search of Spaces to the Flying Saucer Attack name in the sense of UFO sightings — that is, abstracted by the vague subjectivity of multiple sources without an objective or empirical standard of comparison. And with each source recalling live occurrences with degraded memory, the collage of In Search of Spaces could be approached as the FSA experience documented from a fragmented other, as blurred and intangible as the sightings one might associate with the project’s name.