Founded in 1987 by Stephen Lawrie. The Telescopes have been mining a unique anti-myopian seam of highly influential experimental, drone, noise, dream & psych for over 20 years.
Their first record was a split flex-disc with Loop on the Cheree label. After a further two critically acclaimed singles for the label, they moved to What Goes On records, where they released another two EPs and their debut album Taste. All of which found their way to the top of the UK independent charts.
One of the more interesting bands that were signed to Creation Records. The group released their second album and a string of EPs for the label. Working with Douglas Hart (JAMC) on their videos and visual artist Paul Cannel. The final EP for the label registered in the UK mainstream top 80. The group were also favoured by John Peel and recorded two BBC Radio 1 sessions for him. Mark Riley and Radcliffe also had them in the studio for a session around the time of their 2nd album. The Guardian’s Alexis Petridis described them as having “an almost fragile sense of elegance and melody”.
Re-issues and compilations of their highly influential earlier material have been welcomed by new ears everywhere courtesy of Spaceage Recordings, Joe Foster/ Cherry Red’s Rev-Ola label in the UK and through the legendary Bomp! label in the United States. Prompting the NME to declare ‘The genius of The Telescopes”.
After a 6 year hiatus in 1994, following their 2nd album, the group resumed output in the year 2000 with a revolving line up. A stream of releases followed on labels such as Double Agent (USA), Trensmat (Ireland), Antenna (England), Static Charge (England), Mind Expansion (USA), Textile Records (France) and Hungry Audio (England). Most physical copies selling out before they were even released.
“The telescopes have resurfaced and I am amazed and glad they are still practicing their mysterious art” (John Peel. BBC Radio One). “ An odd but by no means unwelcome return” (Q Magazine).
The Wire magazine described them as having “a very real & crazy originality that carries fat tons of wallop’ and the NME found them ‘In another universe altogether, incredible’. Arch drude Julian Cope has also championed two of their releases on his Head Heritage site, referring to their ’suspended-in-space magnificence’.
In 2011 they were invited by Portishead to play at the first ever ATP festival at Alexandre Palace in London. The following year The Black Angels / Reverberation Appreciation Society invited them to Austin Psych Fest 2012.
Following the release of their 7th LP, HARM, on Seattle based label Neon Sigh, the group are currently undertaking what is increasingly becoming a world tour. Covering Scandinavia, Europe, Russia, Latvia, Estonia, the Ukraine, the UK and the USA. The group are also working on original material, recorded in Berlin at The Brian Jonestown Massacre studio and in Leeds with Spectrum co-founder Richard Formby, which is due for release in the near future.
Meanwhile, a new split single with A Place To Bury Strangers is scheduled for release in March 2015 on Fuzz Club Records and the group have just signed a recording and publishing deal with Hamburg’s Tapete Records/ Bureau B. A new album, The Telescopes 8th, is scheduled for release in August of 2015.
Jun 06 – Eindhoven Psych Lab (NL)
Nov 06 Minehead (UK) – Shiiine Weekender
Nov 28 Geel (BE) – Yellowstock Winter Fest