Posts Tagged ‘Stephen Lawrie’

May be an illustration of text that says 'the telescopes third wave u'

Founded in 1987 by Stephen Lawrie, The Telescopes embody transcending expressions, creating intriguing threads connecting the audience to the divine where the listener emerges from the experience uplifted, soul wrung free of impurities. Through unorthodox methods of sonic exploration, the inexpressible becomes expressed with unexpected colours and textures, submersing the psyche and senses into intangible cosmic translucence. Highly influential and experimental, The Telescopes’ discography spans 3 decades of revolutionary inventiveness, making a flow of inspiration possessing timeless depth. Originally released in 2002 on Double Agent Records, “Third Wave” heralded the return of The Telescopes after a 10 year hiatus.

‘Third Wave’ saw The Telescopes return to the studio for the first time in a decade in 2002, and offered an exploratory take on their shoegazing space rock sound. 19 years later in 2021, Weisskalt Records are delighted to present the long awaited and oft requested Third Wave reissue featuring new album art, another testament to its long abiding resonance and relevance. To this day, The Telescopes remain an enigmatic entity, continually pushing the boundaries of sonic possibility.

Downtempo, electronic music, ambient, drone rock, jazz, and experimental rock are just a few genre labels which get thrown around when fans talk about this musical left-turn. It retains the heady psychedelia of ‘The Telescopes’ but flips the instrumentation and tone on its head to offer a unique listen.


With Lawrie’s innovative experimentation of computer technology (contemporary at the time) amongst other influences outside of the formal music studio environment, the consequence is an album exquisitely divergent from its predecessors. 19 years later in 2021, Weisskalt Records is delighted to present the long awaited and oft requested “Third Wave” reissue featuring new album art, another testament to its long abiding resonance and relevance. To this day, The Telescopes remain an enigmatic entity, continually pushing the boundaries of sonic possibility.

Lawrie and co’s latest incarnation is a more brooding affair, mixing up drum machines, vocoders, and cellos in a decidedly 21st century manner. An odd, but by no means unwelcome, return.
david sheppard – Q magazine

a very trippy agenda. george parsons – dream magazine #3

cool, hazy hallucinations – the perfect prescription for too much life. james nelms – sonic space magazine

On limited-edition, ‘ash infused’ colour vinyl.

Released: Friday 5th March 2021

The telescopes altered perception orbit014lp 5023693101415

Not previously released on vinyl The Telescopes are an English noise, space rock, dream pop and psychedelic band, formed in 1987 by Stephen Lawrie, and drawing influence from artists such as Suicide, The Velvet Underground and The 13th Floor Elevators. They have a total of eleven released albums including their debut, Taste, released in 1989. ‘Altered Perception’ collects 15 of their most intricate workings from their first two albums with the odd rarity and b-side thrown in for good measure. Never before released on vinyl but now re-mastered by John Rivers at Woodbine Street Studio especially for vinyl release for Record Store Day 2020.

The Telescopes are the brainchild of Stephen Lawrie and Jo Doran. Formed in 1986 in Burton-On-Trent and initially a five piece, their earliest live performances drew comparisons with the likes of The Stooges, The Jesus And Mary Chain and The Velvet Underground, right down to Doran and fellow guitarist Dave Fitzgerald’s insistence on facing their amps rather than the audience while a gnarled hail of feedback and distortion erupted all around them.

With the inevitable swarm of record labels chasing their every move, The Telescopes put out their first three singles and debut album ‘Taste’ on the Cheree label. Nevertheless, bad luck seemed to follow the band from this point onwards as Cheree’s subsequent closure saw the band sign to What Goes On, only for them to see another label go bankrupt months later. Eventually they ended up at their spiritual home, Creation Records, and after three well received singles and the release of their second eponymously-titled album, everything seemed to be coming up roses. Sadly, a couple of blokes going by the name of Gallagher were lurking in the shadows with other ideas, and this coinciding with the already phenomenal expenditure of My Bloody Valentine‘s still-born follow-up to ‘Loveless’ meant a cull was inevitable – of which the Telescopes were one of its many victims.

Opener ‘The Perfect Needle’ mixes tremelo, heavy distortion and an obtrusive violin as Lawrie opines “…and it hurts too much to be where you are” in a melancholic drawl that pre-dates the likes of The Verve by a good four years. ‘Sadness Pale’ and ‘Violence’ meanwhile are psychedelic dirge-like entities that resonate within their own quagmires similar to the early workings of Spacemen 3 or even Mudhoney .

What set the Telescopes apart from their contemporaries at the time such as Ride, Slowdive and the Boo Radleys, and still does today, is that they were never too afraid to take a risk. With the word “conform” seemingly absent from Lawrie and Doran’s vocabulary, they bent the rules a little with their second album and fuzz pedals and feedback disappeared faster than you can say ‘And’ – the closing track on here, incidentally. ‘You Set My Soul’ sounds like Primal Scream engaging in a freeform jazz jam with John Lee Hooker and Daevid Allen while ‘All A Dreams’ is ethereal, winsome psychedelic pop at its best – ‘Pet Sounds’ made by its respective owners, if you must.

‘Altered Perception’ offers a remarkable insight into how a band defined their own legendary status by simply changing everything about their sound just as the pigeons were about to slip them into any of their aforementioned holes, whether that be the ones marked “shoegazing”, “psyche-rock”, “baggy” or “indie pop”. As a history lesson in the development of sounds that your A&R man will tell you are just WRONG for this record, boys, ‘Altered Perception’ is up there with ‘Psycho Candy’, ‘Loveless’ and ‘Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space’. If you’re just curious and want to know where the likes of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Mogwai and yes, Radiohead got many of their ideas from, then you simply have to own this album.

‘Altered Perception’ could be seen as Lawrie and Doran’s way of setting the record straight. Having spent several years trying to gain full control to the rights of their back catalogue, this album collects 15 of their most intricate workings from their first two albums with the odd rarity and b-side thrown in for good measure.

Purple coloured heavyweight 180 gram audiophile double vinyl LP

recordstore day


The Telescopes were founded in England in 1987 by chief member Stephen Lawrie and released several recordings in the late 1980s but it is in 1990, when the band signed to legendary label Creation, that they hit their stride and helped to define a decade of UK rock music. Fusing elements of psychedelia with noise-rock, and dreamy pop, The Telescopes were near the forefront of the early shoegaze scene and hugely influential on the next wave of early 1990s Brit-pop. This crucial collection complies all 4 of their 12″ singles on Creation as well as a 1991 John Peel session and other bonus tracks.

2LP – Double Numbered 180 Gram Vinyl with a deluxe double sided poster insert.

Truly very few bands in the realm of psychedelic and shoegaze music come close to the story of The Telescopes. Described as “the all embracing maelstrom” by Melody Maker back in 1989, the world is no less enthusiastic about these Creation Records legends today. I feel privileged to present to you ‘The Desert In Your Heart’, the lead track from their new ‘Stone Tape’ album, forthcoming via the Yard Press label.


Stone Tape is a concept album inspired by “Stone Tape Theory”,
theorized by Thomas Charles Lethbridge in 1961.
The archaeologist, parapsychologist and explorer developed the idea that inanimate materials can absorb energy from living beings, and that this mental electrical energy, released during emotional or traumatic events, could somehow be “stored” in such materials and “reproduced” under certain conditions.
The six songs comprised in the album have been written, produced, arranged and played by Stephen Lawrie, founder of The Telescopes.


For 30 years, The Telescopes have existed on the outskirts of the U.K. pop scene, in a host of different forms. Founded by primary member Stephen Lawrie in 1987 as a way to channel his love for such American underground icons like 13th Floor Elevators, The Velvet Underground, and Suicide, the band has since inhabited the worlds of noise, shoegaze, Britpop, and space rock without disappearing too far into any one of them. Rather, Lawrie has preferred to stitch all of them together into a kind of dreamcoat that’s wholly unique. Their eponymous second LP, released on Creation Records in 1992, is a stronger Salvo to Britpop than the records unveiled by Pulp or The Charlatans that year. On their decade-in-the-making follow-up Third Wave, Lawrie immersed himself in jazz and IDM to craft a fitting testament to the endless possibilities for the rock band format in a Kid A afterworld.


Since signing with Hamburg, Germany indie imprint Tapete Records in 2015, Lawrie has returned to his roots in noise and space, building on the sound of the scene he helped spawn, with nods to early Primal Scream and Spacemen 3, and then taking it down darker, more abstract musical paths. For his second Tapete full-length release, As Light Return Lawrie is celebrating three decades in music by tangling up reverb, delay, and echo into some of the most impossible knots he’s crafted yet. It’s a dizzying five-song journey that crescendos with epic 14-minute closer “Handful of Ashes,” where his feedback reaches raga-like levels of abandon thanks to the improvisational craft of his backing group, St Deluxe.

In celebration of the 30th anniversary of The Telescopes,here is the evolution of his underrated and remarkable outfit, whose time to be recognized as one of the quintessential architects of the British experimental rock movement is long overdue.


The Telescopes were among the most innovative and challenging yet successful artists in Creation Records‘ “middle period”, a leading part of the wave of sonic experimenters who included Spacemen 3, My Bloody Valentine, Spectrum and Spiritualized. Towards the end of their time with Creation, they made their most fully realized album yet, “#’ (untitled second). This is the first time this great psychedelic album is being released in the US, and it comes with 3 bonus tracks. “The songs are built on acoustic guitars, then the tricked-out electric guitars are laid on top and garnished with bongos, organs, pianos, and all sorts of classic instruments. Stephen Lawrie’s vocals are restrained and semi-emotional and female backing vocals add a touch of sweetness


thank beautifulnoise


Ola’ Kool Kitchen is a show on Radio23, Rock XS Radio, Magic Monster Radio, KCLA 99.3 FM in Los Angeles, and 107.5 andhow.FM episode 257 features an interview with Stephen Lawrie from The Telescopes. Founded in 1987 by Stephen Lawrie, The Telescopes have been mining a unique anti-myopian seam of highly influential experiment this weeks tracklist :
1. Body/Head-Abstract-Coming Apart-Matador
2. The Velvet Underground-The Black Angel’s Death Song-The Velvet Underground and Nico-Verve Records
3. Public Image Limited-Banging The Door-Flowers Of Romance-Virgin
4. Einsturzende Neubauten– Sehnsucht (Zitternd)-Halber Mensch-Some Bizarre Records
5. The Cramps-Lonesome Town-single-Scatterbrainchild Records
6. Bo Diddley– Pretty Thing-Bo Diddley-Chess Records
7. The Telescopes-You Set My Soul-The Telescopes-Creation Records