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Spectrum 'Forever Alien'

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Deep beneath the flowing analogue synths, the aching filter and the warped lyrical nous of Spectrum, lies a genius that drive the legendary Spacemen 3 to their furthest extremes, the same genius that takes Experimental Audio Research beyond all our tripped-out fantasies and now, with 'Forever Alien' the genius that is Sonic Boom has created one of his finest collections of hypnotic, blissed-out, experimental perfection to date.

From the brooding opening strains of the single 'Feels like I'm slipping away' through the hypnotic wonder of the likes of 'Owsley' and 'Like', the oriental refrains of 'The End' and closing self explanatory minimalism of 'Sine Study', this is by far the most complete offering yet from Spectrum-ised version of the Spacemen classic 'How Does It Feel'.

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.

Editorial reviews
...the focus is on textures, drones and treatments of a decidedly non-rock perspective....one extended, shimmery bliss-out that no Spacemen acolyte could possibly resist.
Option (11/01/1997)

...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
Entertainment Weekly (08/15/1997)


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1. Feels Like I'm Slipping Away
2. The Stars Are So Far (How Does It Feel?)
3. Close Your Eyes And You'll See
4. Delia Derbyshire
5. Owsley
6. Forever Alien
7. Matrix
8. Like...
9. The New Atlantis
10. The End
11. Sounds For A Thunderstorm (For Peter Zinovieff) 12. Liquid intentions 13. Sine study