Cyclobe is the joint project conceived in 1999 by Stephen Thrower and Ossian Brown, former members of influential British industrial outfit, Coil, whose influence is conducted deeper into the subterranean and strange.
The group’s hallucinatory compositions draw from transgressive art and the occult, industrial, folk, and progressive rock, feature textured electronics, orchestral instrumentation, and drones, and incorporate acoustic arrangements for traditional folk instruments. Guitar riffs surge and retreat into seething, atmospheric undercurrents; cacophonies of found sounds stumble into stillness; strings dissolve into downward-swirling, synthesized static. Cyclobe’s visceral sound evokes premonitions of catastrophe and references vistas psychotropic and pagan.
Cyclobe’s early releases on Phantom Code, Luminous Darkness (1999) and The Visitors (2001), were followed by Paraparaparallelogrammatica (Beta-lactam Ring Records, 2004), for which the group partnered with David Tibet of Current 93, former Coil members and collaborators Thighpaulsandra and Chris Stapelton, and eminent British post-industrialists Nurse With Wound. The 17-minute epic, “The Woods are Alive with the Smell of His Coming”, from Wounded Galaxies Tap at the Window (Phantom Code, 2010), premiered at the Tate Gallery in St. Ives for an exhibition titled “The Dark Monarch – Magic and Modernity in Modern Art”.
Cyclobe’s CTM 2014 performance marked a rare occasion to experience a group Brian Eno has called “sui generis… very important in the story of British culture”; the group has only performed live on three occasions, despite playing together for over a decade. Cycobe appeared at the Donau Festival in Krems, Austria in 2007, curated by David Tibet from Current 93, and at Meltdown festival at London’s Southbank Centre, curated by composer and visual artist Anthony Hegarty of Antony and the Johnsons. In a night billed as Albion - Hypnagogue - Ghost: Hallucinatory Queer British Paganism, which also featured Tibet and James Blackshaw as Myrninerest, Cyclobe premiered the scores to three rare Super-8 short films by Derek Jarman, entitled Sulphur, Tarot, and Garden of Luxor, which were released in 2013 on Phantom Code. Most recently, Cyclobe performed at the 2012 Kristiansand Punkt festival in Norway at electronic music pioneer and festival curator Eno’s invitation. Their recordings were also featured in the soundtrack to documentary film Mirage Men by John Lundberg, Mark Pilkington, Roland Denning, and Kypros Kyprianou, which was screened at the Sheffield Doc/Fest in June 2013.
Cyclobe's future performances will see Thrower and Brown joined by close collaborators Cliff Stapleton (hurdy-gurdy) and Michael J. York (duduk/pipes) alongside Dave Smith (percussion) and Ivan Pavlov (electronics). Live projections for Cyclobe are provided by acclaimed visual artists Fred Tomaselli (White Cube UK, James Cohan Gallery NY, MoMA), Alex Rose (Envoy NY), and the British avant-garde filmmakers Anna Thew and David Larcher (Mare's Tail, Video Void) as well as a number of specially made films and artworks created by Cyclobe themselves.