FR | EN | NL

ARCHIVES | 2006 | MUSIC | THIS IS YOUR CAPTAIN SPEAKING


Biography

This is Your Captain Speaking is a trio from Melbourne, and the leader of the pack among Australian post-rock releases for the year. Paying homage to their contemporaries such as The Necks, Silver Ray, Dirty Three, Laura, The Wintership and Because of Ghosts, Nick Lane (guitar/mandolin), David Evans (drums) and Steve Ward (guitar) build on a strong tradition of Australian instrumental music through a near flawless rendering of their craft.

Their debut album 'Storyboard' was released independently in Australia in May 2005. It has already earnt critical acclaim, with critics from as far afield as Europe and the US declaring Storyboard “66 minutes of pure musical bliss”, “one of the most well crafted albums in recent history” and “a masterpiece in its own right”.

 

photo1

 

Reviewers have consistently compared the band to the likes of Brian Eno, Steve Reich, Terry Riley, The Necks, Sigur Rós, Explosions in the Sky and Ennio Morricone.

In February 2006, 'Storyboard' will also see release throughout Europe on excellent UK label Resonant (Do Make Say Think, Kepler, Stafraenn Hákon, Dialect, Blindfold, Library Tapes). As the first Australian signing to Resonant, This is Your Captain Speaking will be touring Europe and the UK in April/May 2006 in support of the release.

 

photo2

 

Seven tracks and 66 minutes, 'Storyboard' was recorded live in a primary school library and captures the band's extraordinary ability to evoke atmosphere and emotion. Moving from minimal ambience and beautiful intertwining melodies to soaring sonic reverberations, moments of country & western and psychedelia, 'Storyboard' captures This is Your Captain Speaking's highly original and fluid sound.

Definitely a "must-see" at the festival this year, where they'll play an exclusive show in Belgium!

 

Discography

-) 2005 : 'Storyboard', self-released (also on Resonant in February 2006).

Fasterlouder's point of view :

In cities everywhere budding musicians save for months to get those precious few hours in the recording studio. They're in search of the best engineers, the best acoustics, the best mics, and the best mixing desks. But Melbourne three-piece This is Your Captain Speaking, whose members have individually conquered the studio, chose a primary school library as the place to record their debut album 'Storyboard'.

This choice feels completely natural given the music of Nick Lane (guitar, mandolin), David Evans (drum kit, typewriter, metallophone), and Aaron Trimmer (guitar). (Between the recording of the album and its release, Trimmer was replaced by Steve Ward.)

The band doesn't so much play songs or tracks but paint emotions with sound. While the traditional studio remains unvisited, the band suits itself by committing its musical mandalas to tape where hourly rates don't count. Just as mandalas are highly complex geometric diagrams in Hinduism and Buddhism whose swirling, repeating themes aid meditation, listening to the music of the band has a similar enchanting effect. The relaxed atmosphere of a school library during holidays is the perfect place to let music like this ooze out of the soul.

The road that runs from 'Storyboard' to Decoder Ring's 'Somersault' is short indeed. Both albums share the philosophy of each band member adding daubs to a collective painting, but with one vital difference. While Decoder Ring took the path of multi-tracking, creating their musical whole through the layering of different instruments, synthesisers, vocals, and effects, this band takes a more minimal approach of mostly two guitars (sans bass) and drums.

Watching the band play it's obvious that intuition is key. When composer Terry Riley completed his landmark of minimalism 'In C' in 1964, he gave each performer in the ensemble unprecedented freedom in playing through a sequence of 53 phrases, but with one fundamental expectation: that performers listen to each other. This may sound obvious, but when 20 or more performers are practically improvising simultaneously, intuition is the difference between chorus and chaos.

Riley's music influenced Steve Reich whose 'Drumming' (1971) and 'Music for 18 Musicians' (1976) are, in a way, the old school to TIYCS's new school.

But perhaps this new school didn't start in Melbourne post-2000, but in Munich, Germany around 1970. Fans of mystic electronica pioneers Popol Vuh will certainly feel at home with 'Storyboard'. That band's captivating album 'Hosianna Mantra' (1972) certainly cut the template all those years ago for bands to explore textures and soundscapes in a higher dimension.

Repetition and minimalism have never been 'pop' in western music. The amazing achievement of This is Your Captain Speaking has been to arrive bearing the gift of this music and be embraced so warmly around the country.

Sidkid - website.

nom_image

 

Audio

-) Weathered, taken from 'Storyboard'.

 

Web

-) Official site.
-) Resonant.