Monday, July 27, 2009

Cybotron - Colossus (1978) + Bonus Single

(Australian 1975-80)
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The pioneering electronic outfit Cybotron deserves its posting on Rock On Vinyl, since it one of the first (if not the first) Australian examples of pure electronic rock, a genre that later blossomed with the likes of Ollie Olsen's various projects. Here was the blueprint. Synthesizer fanatic Steve Maxwell Von Braund teamed in the mid-70s with Geoff Green to form Cybotron in 1976, but Von Braund had already caused a considerable stir by releasing what is largely regarded as Australia's first fully electronic album, Monster Planet (Clear Light Of Jupiter, 1975).
Influenced by contemporary "Krautrock" electronic outfits like Can, Amon Duul, Faust and Tangerine Dream (not surprisingly, the German-born Von Braund had been an associate/friend of some of these musicians) the ambitious suite impressed with its rich layers of synths, treated sax and electro-percussion. Former Masters Apprentices singer Jim Keays contributed vocals to the title track, while Aztecs drummer, producer and long-time collaborator Gil Matthews engineered and provided bass and drums support, with Henry Vynhal on treated violin.

The “mind-expanding brain food” offered by that debut release continued with the official formation of Cybotron during 1976, and the ensemble went on to create some marvelously inventive aural soundscapes. Their self-titled debut LP (1976) has been described as "a cross between late 60's Stockhausen and Kraftwerk's Autobahn album ... disco melodies warped with hypnotic synth fusion".
It was followed by a bootlegged live radio performance, 'Saturday Night Live' (1977), and two further official albums. 'Colossus' (1978) featured "a more progressive edge backed by a massive symphonic sound" and included contributions by Colin Butcher (drums, percussion, synthesiser). Mark Jones (bass, guitar, keyboards) joined for 'Implosion' (1980) with Gil Matthews again playing drums and keyboards. 'Implosion' was recently released on CD by Aztec Music but I personally prefer their earlier albums, their 2nd LP posted here for your enjoyment.

In more recent times an American electronic group has appropriated the name but has no other connection with the Aussie Cybotron. Von Braund and Green are still about, making "far-out music and vibes". In early 2002 Geoff Green reported that Cybotron is back in action and recording with Gil Mathews. He also announced that their old albums will be released on CD, along with a new live CD recorded when they supported Split Enz.
This rip was taken from CD at 320kps and comes with 2 bonus tracks from their 1979 single 'Ride To Infinity' (thanks to Sunshine at Midoztouch)
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Track Listing
01 - Colossus
02 - Eclipse
03 - Medusa
04 - Raga
05 - Colossus (Short Mix)
06 - Ride
07 - Ride To Infinity (Bonus Single Side A)
08 - Xmas Hills (Live Christmas Hills Festival 1979 - Bonus Single Side B)
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Band Members
Steve Maxwell Von Braund (keyboards, synthesisers, sax, percussion)
Geoff Green (keyboards, synthesisers)
Gil Matthews (drums, percussion, engineering)

Cybotron Link (127Mb) New Link 25/07/2017
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5 comments:

  1. Does anybody know where the band members were born?

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  2. Melbourne Australia.

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  3. Hi Aussie Dave here. If I post a comment on my iPad it brings up my Google account but if I post on the desktop I come up as Anonymous but I'm one and the same. As I've lost my password to Google and I'm too casual to sort it out its only my iPad that remembers who I am.
    Anyway. I saw Cybotron play at I think the Largs Pier Hotel on a hot sunny Sunday afternoon in Adelaide in maybe early 1977. I was pretty hungry to explore music in all its forms and Cybotron were just brain-frying. First band I ever saw with no guitars or bass. They got me into the vast diversity of styles known as krautrock which I was barely aware of except for Kraftwerk and Tangerine Dream until then.
    I've got their studio albums and they still sound great today. Steve Maxwell von Braund's solo LP is a wilder, less disciplined effort I reckon. Still great though, but not one to play every week.
    Cheers, Dave

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  4. Highly envy the fact that you saw them play mate. I purchased this album when it first came out but sold it in the 80's in a moment of insanity, and have regretted it ever since. I still keep my eye out for another copy but don't hold out much hope as I suspect there weren't many pressed/sold.

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