Aleph were an Australian symphonic-rock band from Sydney that released the album Surface Tension on Atlantic in 1977. Alongside Chetarca, Sebastian Hardie, and Ragnarok, Aleph were front-runners in the antipodean response to the U.K. symphonic heavyweights of the era (Yes, Genesis, ELP, Camel).
Members: Mary Jane Carpenter (keyboards), Ron Carpenter (drums), David Froggatt (guitar), Mary Hansen (keyboards), Dave Highet (bass), Joe Walmsley (vocals)
Aleph formed in 1974 and were active in the Sydney area for nearly four years. Drummer Ron Carpenter played in an early incarnation of AC/DC but never recorded with the band. The other members of Aleph were fresh on the music scene.
In 1977, Aleph released their singular album Surface Tension on Atlantic (Australia). Side one features four songs, including “Banshee,” “Morning,” and “Man Who Fell.” The bulk of side two is taken by the epic “Mountaineer” (14:38). Prominent features of the music include the Squire-esque bass-lines of Dave Highet, the tight guitar interjections of David Froggatt, and the soaring vocals of Joe Walmsley. The album was produced by Paul Goodwin (Headband, Crossfire) and mixed by Kiwi engineer Wahanui Wynyard (The Bluestars, The Smoke, Buffalo, Finch).
Also in 1977, Aleph issued the non-album single “Little Games” (b/w “Of the Essence”).
Ron Carpenter notched technical credits on 1978–80 albums by First Light and the Takeaways. Highet appeared on a 1986 one-off EP with the pop combo Your Fanatics. Froggatt resurfaced a decade after Aleph as a writer/arranger for Jimmy Barnes and The 12th Man.
Surface Tension was reissued in 2001 by Korean archivists M2U and again in 2020 by UK specialists ProgRiver.
- Surface Tension (1977)
- “Little Games” / “Of the Essence”
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