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Spectrum Can Go into a Trance

When fans try to explain Spacemen 3 to the uninitiated, they inevitably refer to the title of one of the many compilations of the band’s outtakes, Taking Drugs to Make Music to Take Drugs To. But the British band’s musical legacy isn’t so easily explained. Put simply, without Spacemen 3, there might not have been Stereolab, My Bloody Valentine, Deerhunter, the Black Angels, or any number of modern psychedelic or space-rock bands.

The band’s co-leaders, Jason Pierce and Peter Kember, went their separate ways at the beginning of the 1990s and took notably different paths. Pierce built from elements of his old sound to create cosmic gospel-rock-psychedelia with Spiritualized, a relatively high-profile band that has performed with a choir and a symphony. But Kember, a.k.a. Sonic Boom, has taken the Spacemen 3 sound further into minimalism and his career into further obscurity. It’s not that he has become a recluse. On the contrary, he has kept busy producing and collaborating with artists such as MGMT, Panda Bear, Stereolab, and Dean & Britta.

As he’s spread his own work across several projects, it isn’t easy to keep track of him. Every so often he releases something new, and sometimes it’s under the name Sonic Boom, sometimes it’s Experimental Audio Research, sometimes it’s Spectrum, sometimes it’s a variation of these. All the projects share a similar aesthetic, but if you must differentiate between them, Spectrum is the most straightforward. Relatively speaking, of course — in concert, Spectrum can go into a trance, playing two chords for ten minutes or more.

Black Ryder and Mood Ring also perform.

SPECTRUM: Soda Bar, Wednesday, April 27, 9 p.m. 619-255-7224. $12, $15.

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When fans try to explain Spacemen 3 to the uninitiated, they inevitably refer to the title of one of the many compilations of the band’s outtakes, Taking Drugs to Make Music to Take Drugs To. But the British band’s musical legacy isn’t so easily explained. Put simply, without Spacemen 3, there might not have been Stereolab, My Bloody Valentine, Deerhunter, the Black Angels, or any number of modern psychedelic or space-rock bands.

The band’s co-leaders, Jason Pierce and Peter Kember, went their separate ways at the beginning of the 1990s and took notably different paths. Pierce built from elements of his old sound to create cosmic gospel-rock-psychedelia with Spiritualized, a relatively high-profile band that has performed with a choir and a symphony. But Kember, a.k.a. Sonic Boom, has taken the Spacemen 3 sound further into minimalism and his career into further obscurity. It’s not that he has become a recluse. On the contrary, he has kept busy producing and collaborating with artists such as MGMT, Panda Bear, Stereolab, and Dean & Britta.

As he’s spread his own work across several projects, it isn’t easy to keep track of him. Every so often he releases something new, and sometimes it’s under the name Sonic Boom, sometimes it’s Experimental Audio Research, sometimes it’s Spectrum, sometimes it’s a variation of these. All the projects share a similar aesthetic, but if you must differentiate between them, Spectrum is the most straightforward. Relatively speaking, of course — in concert, Spectrum can go into a trance, playing two chords for ten minutes or more.

Black Ryder and Mood Ring also perform.

SPECTRUM: Soda Bar, Wednesday, April 27, 9 p.m. 619-255-7224. $12, $15.

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