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Peter Kember aka Sonic Boom has been making totally far out head music since 1985, first as half of the legendary group Spacemen 3, and then as Spectrum. Sonic Boom’s droning guitars, trance figures and blissed-out vibe have an influence that has been felt everywhere from near-academic electronic music to dance music and on down to Animal Collective and beyond. Official Sonic Boom Website
We caught up with him to ask a few questions.
GIK: You’ve collaborated with eclectic artists both as a musician and a producer/guru including Spacemen 3, Stereolab, Ya Lo Tengo, Cheval Sombre, MGMT, etc. What are some of your favorite highlights?
SB: It’s kind of different every time of course, but working with all these people has been fun on some level. I’d have to say that Panda Bear was a lot of fun, as was the TEEN LP. I find I learn from all of these different bands and artists I’ve worked with. I’ve been fairly universally blessed with getting to work with some highly inspiring and talented people.
GIK: What are you working on now and what have you worked on recently?
SB: I’m currently working on two remixes for a 12″ for Panda Bear and Sun Araw. Recent projects have been for the Dark Horses (remix), TEEN (production & mastering), Cheval Sombre (production and mastering), the Lightships (remix), Love Cult (mixing), and Sinner DC (mixing) and I’m looking at doing some mastering work for Merchandise.
GIK: What is the most important part of the mixing/remixing/collaboration process?
SB: That varies a lot from project to project. There are different demands on different things… I guess one of the most important is communication. That’s essential, to be all pushing in the same direction. I’m lucky to work with a lot of different artists. Sometimes my job is to try and fix up deficient recordings, other times it can be a lot more about organisation or scheduling. It varies during different periods of the process too.
GIK: How has GIK Acoustics helped this process?
SB: For me, doing mastering as well as mixing here it is essential to have good referencing and no overt colouration from the room. I like to be flexible within a fairly constrained budget and the 5 fixed and 4 mobile GIK panels give me the flexibility I need from one project to the next.
GIK: Anything you would like to say about recording or producing in your own words?
SB: Foremost is good ears, second most is a good reliable acoustic environment.