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Forever Alien

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Performer Notes
  • Spectrum: Sonic Boom (vocals, synthesizer, Theremin); Alf Hardy (synthesizer, vibraphone); Pete Bassman (programming).
  • Recorded at Cabin Studios, Coventry, England.
  • The primary post-Spacemen 3 outlet for the sound-for-sound's-sake guitarist/keyboardist Pete "Sonic Boom" Kember (who also leads the even more abstract Experimental Audio Research), Spectrum inhabits approximately the same musical space as Spiritualized, the band Kember's former partner Jason Pierce formed after Spacemen 3 folded in the early '90s. Like Spectrum's other releases, 1997's FOREVER ALIEN takes elements (especially on the opening "Feels Like I'm Slipping Away" and the unusually pop-oriented "Delia Derbyshire") from SAUCERFUL OF SECRETS-era Pink Floyd; early '70s German experimentalists like Can, Faust, Neu! and Amon Duul I & II; and the work of minimalist composers like LaMonte Young and Terry Riley.
  • FOREVER ALIEN is more song-oriented and poppier than Kember's work with E.A.R., or even Spacemen 3. The pieces are also more concise and feature actual lyrics, unlike the improvisational and comparatively formless tendencies of those bands, where drones and unearthly sounds--not melodies--predominate.
Professional Reviews
Entertainment Weekly (8/15/97, p.74) - "...this vehicle for Spacemen 3 alum Peter Kember [Sonic Boom] seems to rely mainly on a comparatively limited sonic palette of Moog synthesizers and theremins. But for druggy gurgles, whirs, and bleeps, Spectrum excel." - Rating: B

Option (11-12/97, p.118) - "...the focus is on textures, drones and treatments of a decidedly non-rock extended, shimmery bliss-out that no Spacemen acolyte could possibly resist."
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