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CYBOTRON

Progressive Electronic • Australia


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Cybotron biography
CYBOTRON was an experimental electronic music duo formed in Melbourne, Australia, by expatriate German Steve Braund (aka Steve Maxwell Von Braund) and Geoff Green in 1975. The group draws heavily on synthesisers (as would be expected), electronic and acoustic percussion, plus saxophone and played minimalist, repetitive progressive-style electronica in a style that emulated the direction of the 1970's German cosmic sounds.

The name CYBOTRON is derived from a shortening of the name of KLAUS SCHLUZE's "Cyborg" album, a significant influence on Braund, and the use of "tron" as used on the word 'cyclotron'. To Braund the CYBOTRON handle signified half man, half machine. Being a German expat, Braund had been exposed to much of the Krautrock and early electronic rock scene, including the likes of SCHLUZE, CAN, TANGERINE DREAM, ASH RA TEMPLE, AMON DUUL II and the UK's HAWKWIND and PINK FLOYD. The CYBOTRON sound had the duo often referred to as the 'Australian TANGERINE DREAM'.

The initial Braund-Green pairing came on the Braund's 1975 solo work, "Monster Planet", which also featured Gil 'Rats' Matthews (of Billy Thorpe & The Aztecs fame), Jim Keays (of Masters Apprentices) and violinist Harry Vyhnal. "Monster Planet" is credited with being Australia's first electronic rock album. After the completion of "Monster Planet" the CYBOTRON duo was born. (The "Monster Planet" album could be considered as part of the CYBOTRON discography given that both CYBOTRON members contributed to the work.)

CYBOTRON's eponymous debut album, released in 1976, featured the Braund-Green pairing, and added Gil Matthews as drummer (and recording engineer). Composition on "Cybotron" was undertaken by both Braund and Green. The second album, "Colossus" - arguably the peak for CYBOTRON - was released in 1978. For "Colossus" the drumming duties were passed on the Colin Butcher, who also brought additional percussion and synthesiser skills to the table. (Gil Matthews remained involved as the engineer.) For "Colossus" all compositions are credited to Geoff Green alone, a shift from the debut album. "Colossus" sold quite well in Europe and the USA (although poorly in Australia). It looked like CYBOTRON may have been about to make an impact on the international scene with "Colossus", however interest faded as quickly as it had risen. For the third (and ultimately final) album, "Implosion", Green had departed the group. Butcher had vacated the drumming seat before the release ...
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Enter [LP]Enter [LP]
Craft Recordings 2018
$17.55
$21.13 (used)
CybotronCybotron
DUAL PLANET 2014
$10.86
$166.00 (used)
Sunday Night At The Total TheatreSunday Night At The Total Theatre
Dual Planet 2013
$10.98
$17.33 (used)
ImplosionImplosion
Extra tracks · Remastered
Aztec 2006
$29.99
Motor City Machine Music: An Exploration of CybotronMotor City Machine Music: An Exploration of Cybotron
BGP / Beat Goes Public 2005
$9.44
$8.45 (used)
EmpathyEmpathy
Fantasy 1993
$5.99
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CYBOTRON discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

CYBOTRON top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.24 | 12 ratings
Monster Planet (Steve Maxwell Von Braund)
1975
2.88 | 21 ratings
Cybotron
1976
3.32 | 30 ratings
Colossus
1978
3.14 | 14 ratings
Implosion
1980

CYBOTRON Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.14 | 5 ratings
Sunday Night At The Total Theatre
2013

CYBOTRON Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

CYBOTRON Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

CYBOTRON Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

CYBOTRON Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Cybotron by CYBOTRON album cover Studio Album, 1976
2.88 | 21 ratings

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Cybotron
Cybotron Progressive Electronic

Review by Progfan97402
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Australia is not the first country you think of for electronic music, but here you go! Although Steven Maxwell von Braund had already released a solo album in 1975 with Monster Planet (an album that I enjoy although those cheesy vocals, as well as that cheesy cover, more looking like a cheap late '70s private pressing than something out of the mid '70s are a bit cringeworthy), this was officially the debut from Cybotron as he got help from Geoff Green, plus Gil "Rats" Matthers on drums on the opening cut. The cover is obviously a tribute to Salvador Dali, with a chameleon, a serval (that yellow spotted cat with the big ears you see), and some donkeys on the cover. Since Steven Maxwell von Braund was born in Germany, it seems no surprise that the Berlin School would be a big influence in the music. Certainly there's a bit more of a rock approach than TD (outside of Cyclone and Force Majeure), this album is totally up your alley for those who enjoy this kind of music. It's one of those albums best listened to as a whole as I really can't pick out a highlight for me because the quality is held up throughout. Really, this album is very much a worthy addition to your collection, but in the case of electronic music of this sort, it's often hard to do a more detailed review.
 Implosion by CYBOTRON album cover Studio Album, 1980
3.14 | 14 ratings

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Implosion
Cybotron Progressive Electronic

Review by ElNapalmo

4 stars Third album, and final album, by Australia's Cybotron, released in 1980. Six amazing songs with a fusion of Progressive Rock and Krautrock. I'm listening the 2006 reissue by Aztec Music, remastered, with 20 pages full of information, interviews, photographs, accompanied by 6 extra songs from the incomplete and never released 1981 album, "Abbey Moor", as well as a curious version of Henry Mancini's "Peter Gunn Theme." These unreleased songs were deliberately composed with a more commercial approach to Cybotron music. I do not like the final result as much as the main album, but the guitar version of "Eureka" is interesting. "Implosion" is a fabulous album that I recommend to all lovers of names such as Pink Floyd, Tangerine Dream, Can, Neu, Faust, Kraftwerk, Amon D''l II, Goblin and Zombie.
 Cybotron by CYBOTRON album cover Studio Album, 1976
2.88 | 21 ratings

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Cybotron
Cybotron Progressive Electronic

Review by Modrigue
Prog Reviewer

3 stars First release of the band formed by Steve Maxwell Von Braund and Geoff Green, often referred as the australian TANGERINE DREAM. To be honest, I find more similarities with TIM BLAKE's approach: rapid-psych sequencers with a melodic feel... plus a saxophone.

The best moment of this record is the opening track "Arrakis". It really delivers and hyptonic, mesmerizing atmosphere. "Gods Of Norse" is an enjoyable slow and melancholic piece. "Mumbo Jumbo" and "Parameters Of Consciousness" have nice saxophone parts. As a closing track, "Sonic Overdrive" is unequal, as it features soft passages and repetitive sequences.

While certainly not as groundbreaking and impacting as other electronic formations of the same period, "Cybotron" nonetheless proposes a pleasant and a little bit different experience. Give this album a listen if you enjoy TANGERINE DREAM, TIM BLAKE or KLAUS SCHULZE.

 Implosion by CYBOTRON album cover Studio Album, 1980
3.14 | 14 ratings

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Implosion
Cybotron Progressive Electronic

Review by Modrigue
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Last album from CYBOTRON. With this release, the band wanted to move away from their original TANGERINE DREAM influence by proposing more accessible music. Less fast pulsating hypnotic sequencers, more various sounds and mid-tempo spacey and poppy ambiances.

The first half of the record is my favorite. It has mysterious, intriguing atmospheres. "Eureka" is good although quite a strange choice for an album opening. The title track sound sometimes similar to what ELOY was proposing at the same period. I do enjoy the dark "Suite 16/9th Floor".

The second half is rather heterogeneous. "Encounter" features new-wave guitar play and saxophone! Enjoyable, but a bit too long. On the opposite, "Black Devils Triangle" looks like it was recorded years ago. Too repetitive, but it has its moments. The last track, "We'll be around" is the most surprising: try to imagine a kind of joyful blues-rock, but executed with synthetizers, saxophone and vocoder! I like it, but this has nothing to do on this record.

"Implosion" shows the band experimentating with different styles and changing directions. The whole result is unequal, but nonetheless pleasant. It would have been interesting to see what the band would have done if they had continued. At this time, few electronic formations were incorporating saxophone or new-wave to their style.

 Sunday Night At The Total Theatre by CYBOTRON album cover Live, 2013
3.14 | 5 ratings

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Sunday Night At The Total Theatre
Cybotron Progressive Electronic

Review by sl75

3 stars I enjoy this album more than any of Cybotron's studio albums. Consisting (on the vinyl version) of two side-long pieces), both of which reasonably successfully achieve a timeless, unworldly mood. "Parameters of Consciousness" does this with a sequenced pattern, some TD c. Alpha Centauri -style organ, taking this as the base over which to improvise on keyboards and saxophone. "Vulcan" favours a more abstract approach to the synthesiser, but again with the TD -style organ, although this time the use of a drum machine detracts from the overall effect. I find it all an agreeable listen, though I don't ultimately rate it as much more than background music. The CD bonus track achieves much the same effect as the live tracks with much greater economy.
 Cybotron by CYBOTRON album cover Studio Album, 1976
2.88 | 21 ratings

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Cybotron
Cybotron Progressive Electronic

Review by sl75

3 stars My impression of Cybotron's music has always been that they largely relied on what were then novel sounds to carry what were otherwise quite conventional compositions. This first album doesn't entirely dissuade me from that view - the harmonic language is almost consistently tonal (apart from a section in "Sonic Overide") and the rhythm reasonably conventional, it's generally failry conventional minimalist composition, though that's not necessarily a bad thing, minimalism at it's best has a hypnotic effect on this listener and that's often the case here, helped by the consciously cosmic sounds. The best tracks are the longer works on the second side, "Parameters of Consciousness" and "Sonic Overide". The CD re-release by Dual Planet has a completely unidentified sixth track which is also quite interesting. It's probably not that outstanding in the context of 70s electronic prog more generally, but if you're at all interested in that sub-genre you should enjoy this.
 Monster Planet (Steve Maxwell Von Braund) by CYBOTRON album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.24 | 12 ratings

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Monster Planet (Steve Maxwell Von Braund)
Cybotron Progressive Electronic

Review by sl75

3 stars This album deserves credit for being probably the first album of the progressive electronic genre to be recorded in Australia. It is a highly experimental effort. The two tracks that make up the bulk of the album, "Shadowfax" and "Spirit", are solo efforts for synthesizer and, although some subtle melodic construction is detectable, both highly abstract in their sound worlds. "Crystal Forest" is similarly abstract despite the incorporation of a more organic instrumental element in the form of Henry Vynhal's electric violin. The title track is therefore quite out of character with the rest of the album, with it's more conventional (indeed limited to one chord) tonal language and it's heavier use of conventional instruments (drums, bass & saxophone) and vocals, although the synthesizer contributions that open and close the piece are just as abstract as the rest of the album. It reminds me somewhat of some of the earliest avant-garde compositions for tape written in the 1950s - much exploration of sound for it's own sake, much reliance on the novelty of the sounds, but at least on initial listening not much evidence of a strong compositional language. Still a very original effort, better than his later work with Cybotron
 Colossus by CYBOTRON album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.32 | 30 ratings

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Colossus
Cybotron Progressive Electronic

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

3 stars Australia's Cybotron are an instrumental synthesizer heavy band, who played spacey and repetitive electronica-tinged prog, with an interesting combination of live acoustic and programmed percussion. Taking many elements from German acts like Ashra, Eloy and Tangerine Dream, without ever blatantly ripping them off, the Melbourne band's 1978 album `Colossus' displays plenty of infectious energy, enthusiasm and is packed with top playing and great arrangements.

Considering they're from my home town, it's surprising that I ignored this album for many years! The simple reason is my vinyl LP cover is torn and in terrible condition, so it was kind of off-putting and not pleasant to look at! Fortunately the LP itself is in good condition! But I'll be reviewing the compact disc version, which has a very controversial history that I'll explain later.

After a very spacey and programmed intro with a great build, the title track `Colossus' features a highly unusual treated saxophone blowing away, floating between synths and rattling percussion. Keyboard solos swirl around, stomping drums pounds away - drummer Colin Butcher is relentless on this track! Electronic effects punch through, before a very symphonic finale. It's got quite an upbeat tempo! What a way to start the album! Much of it wouldn't have sounded out of place on a 70's Eloy album.

The ten minute epic `Eclipse' has almost three minutes of killer synth solos and more top drum work - total overkill, yet everything a prog fan could wish for! Very epic and grand, before a nice transition into a floaty middle with phasing effects and a near total fade out. By this point, we're lost in a liquid word of electronic ambience, before a sudden rush back into more synthwork and heavy drums. It's very disorientating and repetitive, creating a very dizzy and overwhelming sensation. Listen to all the maddening keys cut in and out, twirling around, phasing into oblivion, the militaristic percussion leaving you exhausted. An amazing piece, lots of drama and mood here, and killer playing by the band.

Tangerine Dream fans will love `Medusa', a darkly ambient and programmed spacey synthscape. After an ethereal and majestic opening, it develops into a hypnotic, eerie, and trance-like piece. There's driving, almost tribal percussive beats that gradually build in tension throughout the heavily sequenced piece, and it's full of rapturous synth solos. What sounds like a flute near the end creates a very meditative tone. Worth grabbing the album for this one alone.

Processed sax, thick synth stabs, and furious drumming storm through `Raga In Asia Minor'! It's certainly more upbeat than the previous piece, with some faster rocking sections and slower atmospheric moments. It's also extremely repetitious, but sure to get your head nodding in approval or foot tapping along. Very catchy and easy to listen to!

Be aware, the album is available on CD, along with a download version, but bafflingly both contain only a 6 minute version of the final track, with about ten minutes cut out of the original! I have absolutely no idea what the thinking was behind this. Instead, they included a shorter remix of the title track (mostly pointless) and a bonus track `Ride' which is an another short but effective Tangerine Dream/Klaus Schulze-like sequenced piece - decent but nothing that hasn't already been done perfectly well already on the original album. As mentioned above, I do have an original vinyl copy, and within a few weeks I'll have access to a vinyl/USB convertor, so I plan on transferring the album across to MP3 so I can properly listen to and review the full length `Raga In Asia Minor'. I'll then update this review accordingly.

A short and sweet album, there's really not a bad moment on it, certainly no filler tracks. Perhaps there's not a lot subtlety or depth, but the album sounds amazing on a superficial level. Endless thick keyboards, varied drumming/percussion, inventive programming and effective sax. Some would likely complain that many of the tracks are a little repetitive, but that's missing the point! The album artwork, though a little amateur, is kind of deceptively cool, with the vinyl version revealing a lot mode hidden interesting details than on first glace.

In the end, `Colossus' is probably not a hugely important progressive album in the big scheme of things, but the players in Cybotron can be proud in the fact that they put out several high quality albums, with frequent moments of true originality and real greatness.

Three and a half stars really!

 Implosion by CYBOTRON album cover Studio Album, 1980
3.14 | 14 ratings

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Implosion
Cybotron Progressive Electronic

Review by sl75

2 stars I'm admittedly not the most committed fan of electronic music, but I will claim an appreciation for the high points of the genre. This is not one of them. Listen to this music, and imagine it being played on conventional instruments (nearly all of it could easily be played thus). It's no more than very basic, very repetitive stoner rock. It relies entirely on the novelty of the sound to set it apart - and even by 1980, I doubt there was anything especially novel about the sounds on this record. "Black Devil's Triangle" is the only piece that is at all genuinely interesting.
 Cybotron by CYBOTRON album cover Studio Album, 1976
2.88 | 21 ratings

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Cybotron
Cybotron Progressive Electronic

Review by colorofmoney91
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Cybotron's self-titled album is my first exposure to this '70s-era Australian electronic duo, and my first impression was a dissatisfied "meh". Unfortunately, my view of this album hasn't really changed since I've been listening to it off and on for the past few months.

Cybotron would be best described as classic experimental electronic music if only other artists (Klaus Schulze, Tangerine Dream, etc.) hadn't already been doing it better. That's not to say this music is bad, but compared to it's contemporaries, it is just kind of bland and uninspired. Here we've got the synths, sequencers, propulsive krautrock beat, and spacey melodies. The only two points about this album that stand out are that the krautrock beats are considerably energetic compared to most work by Schulze or others, and the occasional saxophone. Unfortunately, neither of these elements make the music sufficiently more interesting than anything else of this same style and don't really make for anything other than a "hey, that's kind of different for a minute" realization that is quickly washed over once the boredom sets back in.

If you want some '70s-era electronic music and are tired of the classic artists in the genre, then this album might be for you. If you're looking for something different and more compelling, or at least equally as compelling as the classic artists, then you should look elsewhere.

Thanks to T.Rox for the artist addition. and to Ricochet for the last updates

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