A dose of Shoegaze tonight via Spectrum, aka: Sonic Boom, aka: Peter Kember.
Peter Kember (born 19 November 1965) is an English musician and record producer. He was a founding member, bassist, vocalist and guitarist of alternative rock band Spacemen 3, lasting until the band’s dissolution in 1991.
He is most commonly known under his frequent pseudonym Sonic Boom, and has collaborated with produced projects with other artists under the name. He performed production duties on MGMT’s sophomore album Congratulations, Panda Bear’s albums Tomboy and Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper, and Beach House’s seventh album, eponymously titled 7.
As a musician, Kember has recorded as Spectrum and E.A.R. (Experimental Audio Research), parallel musical projects with recordings under both names occasionally only featuring Kember. He has occasionally performed live under both monikers, most recently in 2008–11 as Spectrum, touring as a band in America and Europe. Kember has played and collaborated with a number of artists, including Stereolab and Yo La Tengo.
Kember recruited new musicians for the group Spectrum in 1991. Initial their releases carried on from the sound of late-period Spacemen 3, featuring conventional songs and a regular band. First single “How You Satisfy Me” was an original composition reminiscent of 1960s garage bands, based as it was upon the Chip Taylor-penned pop hit “Can’t Let Go”. 1992’s Soul Kiss (Glide Divine) album was split between songs and longer experimental pieces featuring drones and repetition, and Highs, Lows and Heavenly Blows (1994) was also mainly song-oriented. Kember has occasionally collaborated with Jessamine and The Silver Apples under the Spectrum name.
Since 1996 the Spectrum name has been used for Kember’s solo work, sometimes with Pete Bain from the original Spacemen 3 line-up and recording engineer/musician Alf Hardy. The music made with Bain and Hardy was often in the same vein as E.A.R., reflecting an increased interest in vintage analogue synthesizers, especially those made by EMS. After issuing 1997’s Forever Alien album, there were no further releases of new material under the Spectrum moniker until 2008’s Indian Giver collaboration with Jim Dickinson. Kember has also worked with Füxa’s Randall Nieman.
During 2008–11, a four-piece version toured extensively in America and Europe. This included providing main support for the 2008 reformation tour of My Bloody Valentine, and a performance at the All Tomorrow’s Parties festival in May 2011. An EP, War Sucks, was released in 2009.
So, if Spectrum doesn’t ring many bells, certainly the other associated names will. In any event, this session for Mark Goodier at BBC Radio 1 was done around the time Soul Kiss was released and they play a few numbers off the album.
Crank it up, at your risk.