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Sonic Boom

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Rugby, Warwickshire (1989 – 1991)

Sonic Boom is the stage name of Peter Kember (born 19 November 1965), a British musician.

Kember and Jason Pierce (born on the same day in Rugby, Warwickshire) formed Spacemen 3 in 1985. Sonic Boom’s first solo album, Spectrum, was recorded in 1989 while Spacemen 3 were still a going concern, and featured the other members of the group. However, by 1991 relations with Pierce had broken down, and while Pierce went on with the other members of Spacemen 3 to form Spiritualized, Kember recruited new musicians for the group Spectrum. He has also recorded as E.A.R. - the two projects have existed in parallel, and recordings under both names occasionally only feature Kember. Kember has also played and collaborated with Stereolab and Yo La Tengo.

Initial Spectrum 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. 1992’s Soul Kiss (Glide Divine) was split between songs and longer experimental pieces featuring drones and repetition, and Highs, Lows and Heavenly Blows (1994) was also mainly song-oriented. Occasionally Jessamine and The Silver Apples have collaborated with Kember using the Spectrum name. From 1996 the name has been used for Kember’s solo work, usually with Pete Bassman (Pete Bain) from the original Spacemen 3 lineup 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.

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