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ALTO STRATUS

 

Alto Stratus - Tachyon CD, artwork by Alan Freeman



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TACHYON

Ultimate Transmissions UTCD 002  70'12"  CD £8.00 + p&p

    Tachyon Phase 1
1. Strom I 2'28"
2. Sonderbar 7'07"
3. Strom II 2'23"
4. Intones 2'18",
5. Strom III 1'53"
6. Contempt 2'32"
7. Strafe 2'45"
8. Mutantes 2'13",
9. Severed Stone 5'30"
10. Strom IV 1'58"

11. Hole In The Head 8'07" search

     Tachyon Phase 2
12. Daydream 1'49"
13. Corrosion 3'41"
14. San-Ito 2'22",
15. L'eternal Retour 5'18"
16. Alien 2'13"
17. e=mc² 2'32",
18. Black Garden 1'09"
19. Time Reversal 6'43"
20. Epitaph 3'24"

21. Residue 1'08"

Recorded at Tachyon Studio (September 1984).
Bonus HOLE IN THE HEAD from LIQUID SKY (Dark Star ds101).
CD mastering by Colin Potter at IC Studio.

Alan Freeman: synths, effects, voice.
Steve Freeman: synths, guitar, voice.

notes...
The cassette release "Tachyon" was one the most ambitious of a series of concept albums we made in the early to mid 1980s, an era of intensive home studio work, experimentation, and honing skills as electronic artists. Our "studio" consisted of 3 cassette decks, a 6 channel keyboard mixer, and a few effects. Not a very professional set up at all, but adequate. Regrettably, some flaws are revealed in the recording due to the basic techniques used, which involved much in the way of doubling up, "bouncing" and over-dubbing. Despite that, the results are surprisingly good, especially so with Colin Potter's digital clean-up which has removed a lot of unwanted noises, hiss and such like. It's amazing the tape has survived this long really! Now, on CD, it should last forever!

Back in 1984, the "Tachyon" was thought to be "a theoretical particle, capable of travelling faster than the speed of light", whereas today scientists claim to have proved its existence, in effect disproving many theories on the impossibility of faster than light travel. Such an idea, with the influence of many a science-fiction story, where faster than light travel is linked in with time travel or time dilation, it amounted to a fascinating concept for an album.

"Tachyon" is intriguing for us today, when we listen-back to it and realise the references and influences. Of the Conrad Schnitzler dedications "Contempt" is obvious, whereas "Black Garden" isn't so much. Also in there are two dedications to Teddy Lasry ("Severed Stone" and "e=mc²") which may come across a bit Vangelis-like to many, as well as influences from: Cluster, Dome, Heldon, The Residents, Stockhausen, Throbbing Gristle, etc. Being non-musicians, the way we put all this together is more from the viewpoint of sound-artists, relying more on colour and texture than normal melodic composition, yet I'm still surprised how melodic and "composed" much of this is! The resulting potpourri of all this is indeed diverse, and still surprisingly fresh.

reviews...

ALTO STRATUS "TACHYON" cassette
...more electronics but this time there are more playful elements at hand. At times a deep distorted fizz coats the picture in an industrialized haze. The pieces are relatively short and variable. Good use of delay and spaces and the unclutteredness of the music is a strong asset. At times it becomes an alien soundtrack.
[from Outlet Magazine, 1985]

It's not often you can have electronic space music in the crossover section, but the range and scope of music that exists on these CD's spans taste genres ranging from synth through psychedelic to industrial and Krautrock. All are the work of Krautrock archivists and Euro-rock fans supreme, Steve & Alan Freeman, joined on the Endgame CD by Jim Tetlow. The Alto Stratus album is what some may call the more' demanding' of the albums and I would recommend the double as a starting point if you don't want to jump in with both feet. "Tachyon" consists of two half-hour tracks plus a couple of shorter ones, and this is a world of other worldly sounds, effects and musical landscapes. First off, it's not your 'traditional' electronic space music for a start, as it is founded on a bed of exploration and discovery, producing music that takes you on a real headtrip, with echoed effects, buzzing electronics, repeated, treated passages that mutate from one soundscape into another and back. In the album you can hear elements of influences ranging from Kluster to vintage '70's Gong at one bizarre point, and the whole thing is improvised and yet has some sort of alien structure, a feel that the music really does have a direction and sense of purpose, although you focus on all sorts of different things each time you play it. The music is not what you'd call 'normal' in that there are no tunes or melodies or rhythms in the 'traditional' sense, yet at the other end of the scale, the music is black and dark, spacey in the eerie sense, almost industrial without being bombastic or overblown, but above all a real auditory experience, the likes of which have not been heard for a long, long time. The way of the force was with them on this, and you could imagine some parts being perfect for use in science fiction films. It's an enjoyable voyage to parts unknown for sure, but not for the faint-hearted.
[By Andy G, in C&D Services catalogue 2000]

on YouTube...
Tachyon Phase 1 parts 5-10 (edit)

Originally a cassette (various editions) - quantity unknown - released ?/9/1984.
First CD edition - 500 copies - released ?/?/1999.




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TACHYON
CD release
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