In one of the more spectacular acts of musical nuclear fission, the two personalities at the core of the seminal shoegazing outfit known as Spacemen 3 split from the group in the early 90s, with singer-guitarist Jason Pierce forming the band Spiritualized, the better to document his adventures in amateur pharmacology through ambient garage rock, gospel choirs and all manner of decadent-pretending-at-profound bombast – hitting pay dirt when the title track of his monumental 1998 album Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space was licensed for a Gap commercial.
Meanwhile, keyboardist-guitarist-singer Sonic Boom, forming a band called Spectrum (named for Boom’s 1990 solo album) delved deeper into hallucinogenic meditations on, like, existence and stuff, drifting further and further away from song structure into studio-assisted mantra and chant. Listening to Spectrum’s records can be like walking into a hall of mirrors, the vocals drowning in echoes of their own echoes, the backing music more perceived or hinted at than actually heard. That said, the band debuted in 1991 with one supremely catchy, radiation-dappled pop song that manages to balance the band’s trance-y aesthetic – tidal washes of echo and distortion, single-chord structure, melodic repetition and harmonic drone – with the sweet simplicity of a teenage love note. From the album Soul Kiss (Glide Divine), here’s Spectrum’s “How You Satisfy Me”.