Amp (band)

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Amp
Amp-live-06.jpg
Background information
Origin London, England
Genres Space rock
Ambient
Electronic
Post-Rock
Experimental
Shoegaze
Years active 1992–present
Labels Ampbase, Kranky, Space age Recordings, Very Friendly
Associated acts Flying Saucer Attack, Third Eye Foundation, Crescent
Website www.ampbase.net

Amp is an electronic space rock band formed in London by Richard F. Walker (also known as Richard Amp) in 1992, after collaborating with David Pearce (Flying Saucer Attack) on The Secret Garden and the Distance projects. Amp recorded the audio cassette/short story Green Sky Blue Tree with Ray Dickaty (subsequently a member of Moonshake and Spiritualized, amongst others), while Walker was studying at the Royal College of Art in 1992. After a two year break, Amp resurfaced with French vocalist Karine Charff, Bristol experimentalists Matt Elliott (Flying Saucer Attack and later The Third Eye Foundation) and Matt Jones (Crescent) on board. MC Strong in 'The Great Indie Discography' described Amp as: "Occupying musical territory somewhere between shoegazing and the Bristol 'Trip Hop' sound, AMP had created a work of sweeping soundscapes, echoing ambience and waves of feedback."[1]

Jones and Elliott left to pursue their own projects by 1997. Since then, Amp has centered around Charff and Walker plus a succession of collaborators, including:

  • Guy Cooper and Gareth Mitchell of The Secret Garden, who worked with Amp on Astralmoonbeamprojections (1997)
  • Robert Hampson (Loop/Main), who worked as producer on Stenorette (1998)
  • Olivier Gauthier, on Stenorette and L'Amour Invisible (2001)
  • Jan Zert, on L'Amour Invisible (2001)
  • Marc Challans on US (2005)
  • Ray Dickaty, on Green Sky Blue Tree (1992), US (2005), Transmissions (Phase 1) (2005), All Of Yesterday Tomorrow (2007)
  • Donald Ross Skinner (a collaborator of Julian Cope and former member of Baba Looey), on US (2005), Motus (2008), Oetinger Villa (2009), Outposts (2011)

Some review quotes for 'All Of Yesterday Tomorrow'

“For many, this writer included, the loose collective that birthed Flying Saucer Attack, Crescent, Third Eye Foundation, Movietone and Amp offered a window onto a new world of possibilities informed by a quietly confident reimagining of rock history... As this excellent three disc collection of rarities illustrates, the music instigated by Richard F Walker under the guise of Amp epitomises this movement's preoccupations and preferences.” “Little of the material here sounds dated, and what does is affectingly so, like a faded childhood photograph or a half-remembered TV theme. For the most part, Amp's cavernous drones and unanchored plaints are disarmingly present in their refreshing lack of affectation or calculation. It's a pleasure to make their acquaintance once again.”

--Joseph Stannard– The Wire[2]

“A mind-expanding 3 CD set... the music does just what its creator intended.” “Some of the tracks featuring vocalist Karine Charff err towards conventional song structures while the looped and treated field recordings of 'Wild Wine Gaze' churn away like a vast weather system. 'When You Have Love' is quintessential Amp, with Satie-like piano ceding to a billowing blur of electronics and unrecognisable sounds, flecked with fragments of melody.” Mike Barnes– Mojo[3]

“This triple CD survey of Amp's work from 1992 to the present is especially valuable.” “Richard Amp started out at the tail end of the UK shoegazing movement but heard in sequence like this, his music distils the scene's most appealing elements. It's surprisingly diverse: from the brooding isolationism of 'Lutin' to the Portishead-style trip hop of the recent 'Fine Day', whose elegiac mood recalls late-period TalkTalk.”

--Rob Young– Uncut[4]

“The dreamy strum, fuzz, and warble of 'Melatonin Red' have an evaporating gorgeous quality... In terms of glorious distortion, clanging atmospherics, and complementing vocals, 'Beyond', from 1997, is hard to beat. In an ideal world it would have been a chart-busting smash! My favorite item here, 'Moon Tree', is majestic and mournful, with intense shimmering waves of guitar coupled with effects and feedback codes. It is six minutes of total bliss.” “'All Of Yesterday Tomorrow' is an undoubted treat... Naturally, the collection looks back, but I suspect that future listeners will also look kindly upon Amp.”

--Duncan Edwards– Brainwashed

“Amp produce exquisitely spaced-out, cataclysmic dreampop that can only be listened to lying down... Their immobile hymns to emotional unrest are created from base elements of distortion, organic instruments, a cacophany of natural found sounds, Charff's zonked-out Nico drawl, and occasional electronic and folky flourishes.” “Three and half blissful hours of dark, drifting music that introduces itself quietly, settles down and waits for you to zone out into semi-consciousness before overpowering you with its beauty, a wondrous feat of stealth and magic.”

--Robin Wilks– Plan B

“I was quite stunned at the amount of utterly beautiful music on offer here... It is entrancing and almost calming, launching a quiet intensity which is impossible to ignore.” “I haven't been very familiar with Amp's earlier output but on the strength of this simply stunning compilation I think I need to remedy that immediately. This is just perfectly formed drone rock music, with leanings towards so many other fractured genres it would be impossible to list them all... Gorgeous.”

– Boomkat

“Now this is a treat... Comes with excellent sleeve notes, a detailed booklet, plush packaging and 38 lovingly complied tracks. A treat for those who already know Amp and an even bigger treat for those who have yet to discover their beauty.” “Has there ever been a musical experience more soothing and calming than Amp? An aural massage, floatation for your ears and glowing musical colour that washes over in such a rewarding relaxing challenging way. The space where music and sound meet, instrumental, choral, minimal, uplifting positive drones and textures, always always uplifting, always bright, always welcoming, expressive melodies, hints of lyrics, sound in beautiful harnessed harmony, truly magical and rather gloriously unique. A highly recommended treasure box of Amp goodies.”

– Organ Magazine

“Dreamily seductive yet fiercely belligerent... A perfect introduction to a strange but curiously alluring musical landscape.”

--Neil Gardner– Rock Sound[5]

Discography[edit]

  • Green Sky Blue Tree (1992)
  • Sirenes (1996)
  • Astralmoonbeamprojections (1997)
  • Perception (1997)
  • Passe Present (1997)
  • Stenorette (1998)
  • Saint Cecilia Sinsemilla (2000)
  • L'Amour Invisible (2001)
  • US (2005)
  • Transmissions (Phase 1) (2005)
  • All Of Yesterday Tomorrow (2007)
  • Motus (2008)
  • Oetinger Villa (2009)
  • Outposts (2011)
  • Live At Corsica Studios (2013)
  • VV.AA. - A Tribute to Spacemen 3 (1998)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Strong, M.C. (2003). The Great Indie Discography. Canongate. p. 593. ISBN 1841953350. 
  2. ^ Stannard, Joseph (June 2007). The Wire, Adventures In Modern Music. The Wire Magazine Ltd. p. 41. ISSN 0952-0686. 
  3. ^ Barnes, Mike (July 2007). Mojo. EMAP Performance Ltd. p. 120. 
  4. ^ Young, Rob (July 2007). Uncut. IPC Media. p. 95. 
  5. ^ Gardner, Neil (July 2007). Rock Sound, music with attitude. Rock Sound Ltd. p. 100. ISSN 1465-0185. 

External links[edit]