Saturday, 10 July 2010
ALTRES - TAYSIDE BAR - 1983
Dundee's electronic explorers, Altres, sparked into life in 1983.
The band in full back then was - Kevin L Guthrie - Jeremy Bryning - Brian Hutton - Maurice Richardson - Joe Donnelly - Mike Nelson.
Locally, they played venues such as the Tayside Bar, Mr Dees & Cloisters, and they also ventured outdoors sometimes performing at places like the City Square and Baxter Park.
I'm fairly sure when I saw them in Cloisters they had a slide show projector to accompany the music too, but the main thing about them was all that great gear they had - a multitude of synthesisers, drum machines and effects equipment, all adding up to a rather addictive sound.
Another thing I liked was that they played unfashionably lengthy tracks. This was around the time when tunes longer than 3 or 4 minutes were still generally frowned upon, an attitude harking back to the old punk days. So here were Altres pumping out half hour tracks, mesmerising the locals with their trippy synth sequencers and pulsating loop patterns!
The band also made a few recordings back then, however, in 1985 they decided to pull the plug out and Altres was switched off for good. Or so it seemed, until that is, they were regenerated back to life in 2003, and have been powering onwards ever since - gigs and recordings aplenty.
You can catch up with the band's history and present day pursuits in more detail on their site at
The sound sample below is taken from Altres first ever gig which took place at the Tayside Bar on 23rd February 1983. The picture above shows some of the band's gear tucked away in the corner of the TB lounge. Only 4 members played on this one, Kevin, Joe, Brian & Maurice.
The piece, just called "Set 1", was semi improvised and lasted around 30 minutes, but this here is only an 8 minute snippet to give you a flavour of the original Altres in full flow!
Thanks to Kevin and the rest of the posse.