Country : Australia Label : The Roundtable Genres and styles : Electronic / Krautrock / Psych-Rock Year : 2020

Sunday Night at the Total Theatre

· by Rupert Bottenberg

While pugnacious pub rock certainly ruled the place and time, it’s not entirely surprising that Australia in the 1970s would lend a few welcoming ears to German krautrock. Consider the island-continent’s enormous, daunting red-desert interior as a psychic setting, concomitant with a stuntman approach to illicit drugs and a knack for repurposing styles from offshore in a way that’s rough, raw and right on the money.

Melbourne’s Cybotron are a known quantity to those with a penchant for psychedelic synth sounds of ’70s, releasing three albums between 1976 and 1980. Cheers to Australian outfit The Roundtable for re-releasing their eponymous debut LP and 1980’s Implosion digitally, and cheers again for this additional find – a beyond-rare pair of live jams from 1976, when the band was just the duo of Steve Maxwell Von Braund and Geoff Green, tangling with an imposing bank of modular gear.

Two sprawling, quarter-hour chronicles of interplanetary excursions here, diligently observant of Berlin-school protocols. You want oscillations? Ring modulations? Ritualistic formulations in the manner of Popol Vuh, with perhaps a little ecstatic astro-sax à la Hawkwind? Cybotron got you covered. And there’s a bonus: the inclusion of the super-rare single 1980 “Ride to Infinity”, a bit more polished, with a definite Italian flavour to it – il sapore del giallo.

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