Altres are a band from Dundee, Scotland who originally formed in 1983. They were playing mostly instrumental, improvised electronic music at a time when very few bands, if any, were making this type of music in the UK. The Altres’ initial line-up was Jeremy Bryning (synths), Joseph Donnelly (synths), Kevin L. Guthrie (synths, sequencer, drum machine), Brian Hutton (synths, sequencer, vocoder), Mike Nelson (guitar) and Maurice Richardson (synths, sequencer, polysynth, drum machine). The band’s influences included Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze, Philip Glass, Throbbing Gristle, Faust and many others, but their sound is clearly their own.
After a few months of recording the band had a lot of material on tape, so they decided to release their first cassette “Rise” in 1984. Within that year the band managed to release 4 more cassettes: “Live at the Tayside Bar”, “Archive One”, “Archive 2” and “Angel Chords & Devil Chords”. The band also appeared on the audio magazine, INKEY$ – No10 cassette. We have chosen our favorite tracks from each of the cassettes for this special 7 song compilation album entitled “Archives”.
Most Altres compositions begin with a sequence and a drum pattern. These wrap around arpeggiated synth pulses, and are accompanied by shrill feedback. Instruments used on the recordings include Casio MT40 Moog Prodigy, EDP Wasp, Roland SH-101, Casio VL-Tone, Korg MS20, MS50, SQ10 Poly-61, Ibanez guitar and vocoder. All of the instruments are fed through various effects and echo units. Everything is played and recorded live – there are no overdubs.
This original Altres line-up split in 1985, but in that brief period of time released a number of cassettes and performed at several live events. After a short break lasting 17 years, ALTRES reformed in 2003. Since reforming the band has played quite a few gigs, and are working on new material for an album.