Sunday Night At The Total Theatre
First time on CD of this rarity from the Cybotron catalogue. This one's been in my collection for decades so its nice to finally see it in the digital domain. If you are not familiar with Cybotron, they were more or less Australia's answer to Tangerine Dream and Ash Ra Tempel. The band features Steven Maxwell Von Braund and Geoff Green on a variety of instruments. Back in the day Sunday Night At The Total Theatre was an "official bootleg" that the band gave away at gigs in order to drum up interest. Pure cosmic bliss out music. Comes with a bonus track and beautiful packaging. Highly recommended.
"Firstly there’ a man in a cape on the cover of this obscure 1976 semi bootleg from the groundbreaking Australian cosmic Kosmische duo Cybotron. Secondly there are a whole bunch of cool looking analogue modular synths. It’s common knowledge in music circles that a cape alone is a guarantee of great music, but if you add modular synths to the mix then you’re approaching almost divine intervention.
Make no mistake, there is definitely something quasi spiritual about this live recording. The label calls the pieces ecstatic mood ragas and it’s hard to disagree. These are definitely pieces that are all about worship, yet it’s not organised religion that’s the focus here, rather it’s the synthesizer that is the deity.
Consisting of Steve Maxwell Von Braund and Geoff Green, Cybotron were heavily influenced by German electronic sounds from the early 70′, and would go on to release 3 studio recordings with an assortment of collaborators before finally disbanding in the early 80′. For this brief period in the mid to late 70′ Cybotron were the mainstays of the cosmic electronic music movement in Australia and did much to develop electronic music in this country.
This is electric drone music, large beautiful synthetic slabs of electronics played out across an entire side of an album, thick semi improvised highly repetitious oscillations approached with a rare kind of patience. Here the journey is more important than the destination. There’ tranquillity to side one, which is taken up by the piece Parameters of Consciousness, where it’s not until a quarter of the way in that a beat slowly makes its presence felt. It all happens in such a gradual manner that it’s really only the change in their synth melodies that alert you to its presence. This is space music, experimental synthetic wig outs, and it’s probably more relevant today than it was then.
Side 2 is Vulcan, which goes straight for space with seemingly improvised high pitched squiggles of sound accompanying some lower end noodling. It doesn’ really seem to know where its going, though just as there’ a moment of clarity the drum machine beat is brought in high in the mix and suddenly the squiggles turn into riffs and we’re part of a peculiar wrong almost pop stomp. It’s beautiful, chaotic and despite being one of the more musical elements on this recording, still quite experimental. Whilst this takes up much of the side, there’ also a super rare cut Ride To Infinity that was originally released on a 7inch, which is a much more carefully constructed sequencer heavy Tangerine Dream influenced tune of space electrics.
The live recordings were originally recorded by 3ZZZ and were released just after Cybotron’ self-titled debut a year earlier. It’s a pretty incredible set. Even on a recording 37 years later it’s still an overwhelming near mystical experience. It feels so right to re release this material now (on vinyl), as here’ one of the almost forgotten pioneers of synthesizer music in this country and they actually sound better and more relevant than most of the music being made today." - Cyclic Defrost