Cybotron

Cybotron was an Australian electronic combo from Melbourne that released a 1976 self-titled album on Clear Light of Jupiter, followed by Colossus (1978, Champagne) and Implosion (1980, Cleopatra). Their co-founder, keyboardist–saxist Steve Maxwell Von Braund, preceded Cybotron with a 1975 solo album, Monster Planet.

Members: Steve Maxwell Von Braund (keyboards, synthesizer, saxophone, percussion), Geoff Green (keyboards, organ, synthesizer), Gil Matthews [Rathead] (drums, percussion, 1975-76, 1980-present), Jim Keays (vocals, 1976), Henry Vyhnal (electric violin, 1976), Colin Butcher (drums, percussion, 1978), Mark Jones (bass, guitar, keyboards, 1980)


Background

Cybotron formed in 1975 when Steve Maxwell Von Braund teamed with fellow electronic enthusiast Geoff Green.

Braund hailed from Kew in suburban Melbourne and spent his early twenties in London, where he witnessed the emergence of space rock (Pink Floyd, Gong, Hawkwind) and frequented music  specialty stores for import Krautrock acts (Amon Duul II, Ash Ra Temple, Kraftwerk, Neu!, Tangerine Dream).

Inspired by recent hybrids of free jazz, electronic–ambient, and musique concrète, Braund returned to Melbourne and placed an ad for keyboardists. This put him in contact with Geoff Green, who owned a Korg. Impressed with the instrument’s sounds, Braund purchased a Korg and cut a solo album, Monster Planet, on Clear Light of Jupiter, a label established by producers Daniel Janecka and Jeremy Fiebiger, who co-owned Pipe Import Records, a nearby source for Kraut releases. Green co-authored the lyrics to the ten-minute title track, sung by ex-Masters Apprentices singer Jim Keays.

After that album, Braund and Green commenced as a music duo under Fiebiger’s management.


Cybotron

Cybotron released their self-titled debut album in 1976 on Clear Light of Jupiter.

Cybotron features five joint-composed soundscapes, including the half-side pieces “Parameters of Consciousness” and the three-part “Sonic Overide.”

Steve Braund plays alto saxophone and the Rhythm Ace drum machine on Cybotron, which features Geoff Green on the Roland string synthesizer. They both play the Korg 700 and ARP 2600 synthesizers. Engineer Gil Matthews (a late-period Aztecs percussionist and Monster Planet auxiliary) drums on “Gods of Norse.”

A1. “Arrakis” (5:58)
A2. “Mumbo Jumbo” (4:16)
A3. “Gods of Norse” (4:42)
B1. “Parameters of Consciousness” (9:22)
B2. “Sonic Overide” (10:07)
      A. “Gliding”
      B. “The Riddle”
      C. “Answer”

Recorded At – Armstrong Studios
Engineer – Gil Matthews
Produced By – Geoff Green, Steve Maxwell Von Braund

Cover Painting By – Peter Ellis
Inside Photograph By – Brian Carr
Sleeve Notes – Peter D. White
Cybotron Logo By – Mark Cambridge


Saturday Night Live

In 1977, Cybotron released Saturday Night Live, a bootleg recording of their live performance on Melbourne’s 3ZZ radio station.


Colossus

Cybotron released their second album, Colossus, in 1978 on Champagne.

A1. “Colossus” (8:07)
A2. “Eclipse” (10:40)
B1. “Medusa” (7:41)
B2. “Raga In Asia Minor” (15:37)

Steve Maxwell Von Braund – ARP 2600, Korg 700, sequencer, alto saxophone 
Geoff Green – organ, piano, strings, mellotron, synthesizer
Colin Butcher – drums, percussion, synthesizer

Recorded At – Richmond Recorders
Recorded At – Armstrong Studios
Producer, Engineer – Gil Matthews
Composed By, Arranged By, Producer – Cybotron
Executive-Producer – Jeremy Fiebiger

Photography By – Ken Wright
Illustration [Cover] – Linda Orr
Design [Album] – Jeff Orr

May 1978
“Colossus” / “Ride to Infinity” (Champagne Records CHS-605)

Braund parted from Green and recorded the third Cybotron album with Matthews and bassist–keyboardist Mark Jones.


Implosion

Cybotron released their third album, Implosion, in 1980 on Cleopatra.

A1. “Eureka” (6:05)
A2. “Implosion” (9:53)
A3. “Suite 16/9th Floor” (3:03) Written-By – Gil Matthews
B1. “Encounter” (6:05) Written-By – Mark Jones
B2. “Black Devil’s Triangle” (9:53)
B3. “We’ll Be Around” (3:10)

Recorded at AAV Studios South Melborne and Rat Manor Studios Mt Eliza.
Producer, Engineer – Gil Matthews
Engineer [Assistant] – Dick Mitchell
Executive-Producer – Jeremy Fiebiger
Written-By – Steve Braund

Graphics – Andrew Brodie
Illustration [Cover] – Bruce Bowers
Photography By – Ken Wright

May 1980
“Ride to Infinity” / “Xmas Hills”


Later Activity

In 1981, Braund prepared a fourth Cybotron album, tentatively titled Abbey Moor. Five tracks from the abandoned project appear on the 2006 Implosion reissue CD, released on Aztec Music.

7. “Abbey Moor” (5:05)
8. “Peter Gunn” (3:29)
9. “Unorganization” (5:52)
10. “Detective” (3:10)
11. “March” (4:37)

Just as Braund folded Cybotron, a namesake synthpop band emerged in Detroit with two self-pressed singles and the 1983 album Enter.


Discography:
  • Cybotron (1976)
  • Colossus (1978)
  • Implosion (1980)

Sources:

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