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Alpha Stone

Though perhaps not the most famous or celebrated graduate of that late great interstellar ensemble known as Spacemen 3 (that title would probably have to go to Spiritualized enfant terrible Jason Pierce), Pete Bassman (aka Pete Bain) has certainly proved adept at creating the kinds of coolly otherworldly sounds that so distinguished his former band. With both his post-Spacemen 3 projects, the Darkside and now Alphastone, Bassman has continued to explore the nebulous waters of dreamy guitar-heavy ambient rock to stirring effect. Avoiding Spiritualized's transcendent, gospel-inflected pop in favor of danceable, mechanized rhythms and electronic washes, Alphastone achieves a maximum of atmosphere with a minimum of pretension. Certainly the focus here is on mood over message, but if that's your thing, Alphastone definitely delivers.

The group, which has featured a rotating cast of supporting characters, including former Spacemen 3 bassist Will Carruthers, has released a couple of albums, Stereophonic Pop Art Music (1996) and Soulweed (1997), and several singles. "Life Is a Motorway" comes from a 2000 single featuring remixes by Flowchart, Acceleradeck, and others.

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