Paul Bambury / Trancendental Anarchists

Silent Records had a mini love-affair with Australia.  Australia had it’s own “ethnic” ambient sound tha fit in perfectly with what Silent Records was doing in the mid-90’s.  One of the bands to come out of this affair was Trancendental Anarchists.  Having released a full-length album and appeared on two compilations for Silent, Trancendental Anarchists prove that “ambient” was a global movement.  The band consists of Paul Bambury and Pam Thompson with contributions from Andy Rantzen of Pelican Daughters fame. 

Paul Bambury has also released electronic music under the name Alien Headspace.  With the demise of, many Trancendental Anarchist tracks have become unavailable again, however, Paul continues to produce music as Alien Headspace and Qpod.  He has released music on Think Communications, Gulp Records, Groovescooter Records and DumPhuck Records as well as his Silent Records releases.  Paul also runs a company that deals with Internet Commerce, which sprung from a desire to sell his music on the net.  A search engine search for his name will pull up some very informative and well-written treateses on the subject.

Paul managed to sum up his history (and the history of Trancendental Anarchists) so perfectly, that I going to bypass my own bio and include a portion of that interview here.  Enjoy:

I'll give a truncated history of the recording entities I have worked as & my general approach.

I've been producing music in home studios since 1980. I do not perform. All of my music projects since 1980 have been recording projects.

Trancendental Anarchists (TA) was my first recording entity & has had various other members. In the '90s the TA produced mainly electronic ambient, ambient-techno & space music. This was with Pam Thomson & occasionally Andy Rantzen. More recently I have produced TA material by myself.

Alien Headspace is an entity I started in the early '90s to produce beat based music. This included collaborations with Andy Rantzens techno band Itch-e & Scratch-e and releases and on a number of compilations. Most  of my local releases have been of Alien Headspace tracks.

In 1999 after I moved to Canberra I formed FutureRetro with some local musicians. This is an electronic pop project which focuses on song-writing & vocals. We recently formed Qualia Recordings to promote our work. I am also currently producing Alien Headpace material which is more vocal based than the earlier dance based style.

 Please find below a summary of my musical career.

*         Played and composed in the new wave band Smig Zee in the late 1970s.

*         Has produced music in a home recording studio since 1980.

*         Established the Umbrella Network of home recording artists and hosted Umbrella parties where home recording artists' music was played, in the mid to late 1980s, in Sydney.

*         Worked with Andy Rantzen of Itch-e and Scratch-e in the early to mid 1990s.

*         Released electronic music under the names Alien Headspace, Trancendental Anarchists and Qpod on Volition Records, Think Communications, Silent Records, Gulp Records, Groovescooter Records and DumPhuck Records throughout the 1990s and 2000s.

*         Involved in the mp3 scene in the late 1990s and 2000s. Tens of thousands of downloads from Alien Headspace and Trancedental Anarchists pages of

*         Moved to Canberra in 1998, in the following years formed Futureretro with Ross Goddard, Mark Van Veen, Fiona Bolton and Gaye Reid.

*         Released Organic Machines in late 2002.

Paul Bambury Discography

Trancendental Anarchists - Cluster Zone, Silent Records, 1994

Tracks on other CDs:
Trancendental Anarchists - "6th Sense" on From Here to Tranquility 2, Silent Records, 1993

Trancendental Anarchists - "Alpha State" on From Here to Tranquility 5, Silent Records, 1996

Trancendental Anarchists - "Phase Space" on Oscillations comp, Halcyon Recordings, 1998

Alien Headspace - "Great Theme" on 03:00am Eternal, Lacerba, 1998

Alien Headspace - "Planetismal" on Itch-E & Scratch-E & Friends 12", Volition, 1994  

Alien Headspace - “Initialization” on Living In Jamnation compilation, Gulp Communications, ?

Alien Headspace - “Going to Heaven” on Living In Jamnation compilation, Gulp Communications, ?

Silent Release

Special interview with
Paul Bambury

How did you meet Kim Cascone and/or get involved with Silent Records?

I've never actually met Kim face to face. He was in Australia recently & I had a phone conversation with him, Andy Rantzen went to one of Kim's concerts. In the early '90s Andy suggested that we send Kim a DAT of our music (Andy had already had his first Pelican Daughters Silent release).  We did this & Kim liked it, then we commenced protracted conversation by fax, postal mail & phone with Kim re the release of Trancendental Anarchist material. I didn't get on the net until 1997, by then Silent had folded.

Briefly describe the "ambient" scene during the times you were putting out material for Silent.

There was never much of an ambient scene in Australia. The odd chill out room at dance parties & clubs, but nothing like what I gather occurred on the West Coast of the USA. I have been into Eno forever, so I initially thought this was a sort of revival of the old school ambience pioneered by Eno. I got a sense of the ambient techno movement (for want of a better name) mainly through the Silent Compilation CDs. I have always been a somewhat reclusive and auto-didactic artist, I don't think that the Trancendental Anarchist material is particularly influenced by this movement. If we found a niche in it was probably more due to chance & luck than anything else.

How has it changed?

I really don't know, is there still an ambient scene in the US? There's nothing that I'm aware of in Australia. I do recall that ambient was a pretty popular genre on in the late 90s & early naughties.
Is there any unreleased material from the Silent period?

Yes, we had some of this on our site.  There is also some newer material I produced a couple of years ago.

Do you have a favorite Silent release?

I haven't heard enough of it to make a decent choice. I like most of what I've heard.

Any plans on re-releasing the Silent material?

Hadn't considered this. If someone wanted to re-release it, we would consider it. I doubt that there would be any objections. I have recently formed a record company with my current musical collaborators (Qualia Recordings)for the purpose of releasing and licensing our music.  Sounds like a good opportunity.

What are you up to now?

I haven't produced any Trancendental Anarchists material for a few years, but there is about 2-3 albums worth of unreleased material. Over the past 6 years I have been concentrating on producing music with vocals. This is under two entities, FutureRetro & Alien Headspace. We released the first FutureRetro CD (Organic Machines) last year and plan to release future Qualia material via downloads from the qualia website (which we are in the process of designing). This may include new material from FutureRetro, Alien Headspace & Trancendental Anarchists. [* note: the first FutureRetro release is titled Organic Machines]

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