Alto Stratus: Tachyon

(Ultimate Transmissions UTCD 002) CD

Alto Stratus - Tachyon CD, artwork by Alan Freeman£8.00 + p&p

1. 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"
2.
Hole In The Head 8'07"
3.
Tachyon Phase 2
... 1. Daydream 1'49", 2. Corrosion 3'41", 3. San-Ito 2'22",
... 4. L'eternal Retour 5'18", 5. Alien 2'13" 6. e=mc² 2'32",
... 7. Black Garden 1'09", 8. Time Reversal 6'43", 9. Epitaph 3'24"
4.
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.

One of Alto Stratus' finest moments, "Tachyon" is a sci-fi concept, and a dazzlingly creative album (I say modestly) that gave its name to our studio.

The cassette release "Tachyon" was one the most fanciful and conceptual recordings from the early 80's, 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.

 

still available...

(Auricle AMC 004) c60

Alto Stratus - Tachyon cassette, artwork by Alan Freemansold out!

Side A...
1.
Tachyon Phase 1: parts 1-10

Side B...
1.
Tachyon Phase 2: parts 1-10

Recorded at Tachyon Studio (September 1984).

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