“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.
The release is available as a Limited Edition of 500 Vinyl 12″ album
“It has been 30 years since Stephen Lawrie founded The Telescopes. One of the more interesting bands to be on Creation Records, influencing The Brian Jonestown Massacre and the whole shoegaze, space rock and psych movements, The Telescopes are the creative vision of Stephen Lawrie with a revolving line up. Formed in 1987, they released their first record in 1988, a split flexi-disc with Loop. A string of releases followed for Cheree Records, What Goes On Records and Creation Records, each one hitting the higher reaches of the UK independent charts, some of them making it into the UK mainstream charts.
Not long after touring with Spacemen 3, Primal Scream and The Jesus and Mary Chain, The Telescopes were headlining tours themselves with support from the likes of Slowdive, Ride, The Cranes, Bleach, Bark Psychosis and Whipping Boy. The band eventually transitioned from their noise origins towards a more brooding psychedelic sound.
Following the release of their second album in 1992, Lawrie put the group on hold, returning in 2002 with a renewed vigour. The late great John Peel, for whom they recorded two sessions, heralded their return and championed their Third Wave album, exclaiming “The Telescopes have resurfaced and I am amazed and glad they are still practicing their mysterious art”.
A string of releases followed. The Wire magazine described them as having “a very real and crazy originality that carries fat tons of wallop”. The NME again found them ‘in another universe altogether, incredible”. Julian Cope championed two of their releases on his Head Heritage site, referring to their “suspended-in-space magnificence””.
(Footnote: Managed to cut and paste a mention of the BJM there without swearing there…)