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Spectrum Biography

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Spectrum In-depth Biography

Spectrum} was the most high-profile and straightforward of the projects undertaken by Pete "Sonic Boom" Kember} after the demise of the trance-rock avatars Spacemen 3}. As his work as a member of the Experimental Audio Research} coterie allowed Kember} the opportunity to explore ambient textures and tonal constructs, Spectrum} satisfied the singer/guitarist's more conventional pop leanings, while never losing sight of the hypnotic otherworldliness which became his music's trademark and legacy. The name Spectrum} initially appeared as the title of the first Sonic Boom} solo album, released in 1990 before the break-up of Spacemen 3}; a collection of ethereal, nearly formless songs, Spectrum} openly acknowledged Kember's} debt to Suicide} with its cover of the duo's "Rock 'n' Roll Is Killing My Life." Meanwhile, the Kember} half of the Spacemen 3} swan song Recurring}, with its tighter, more structured songs (like the gentle wash of "Just to See You Smile"), offered an even stronger indication of things to come.

After the break-up of Spacemen 3}, Sonic} formed Spectrum} with guitarist Richard Formby} and bassist Mike Stout}, along with contributions from Pat Fish} (a.k.a. the Jazz Butcher}). After a series of singles, the band issued its debut Soul Kiss (Glide Divine)}, a sprawling collection of tranquil, luminous retro-pop, in 1992. At the end of the year, Formby} was replaced by former Darkside} guitarist Kevin Cowan}, and in 1993, the group released Indian Summer}, an EP of covers. After Kember} spent much of the next year working on Experimental Audio Noise Research} projects, Spectrum} -- now rounded out by guitarist Scott Riley}, programmer Alf Hardy}, and ex-Spacemen 3} bassist Pete Bassman} -- released the 1994 LP Highs, Lows and Heavenly Blows}, another narcotic collection which explored unique scales and compositional structures. Another layoff followed as Sonic Boom} resumed work on his other projects, but in 1996 Spectrum} teamed with the Seattle band Jessamine} for a joint release titled A Pox on You}; at the end of the year, they also issued an EP, Songs for Owlsey}. The full-length Forever Alien} appeared in 1997. A second collaboration with Jessamine} as well as work with the Silver Apples} followed. ~ Jason Ankeny, All Music Guide

Spectrum Biography / Spectrum Information

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