Melbourne 1975-present

Steve Maxwell Von Braund (keyboards, synthesisers, sax, percussion)
Geoff Green (keyboards, synthesisers)
Gil Matthews (drums, percussion, enginrering)


Although pioneering electronic outfit Cybotron emerged at the more recent end of the Milesago 'charter' during 1974-75, theis group deserves to be documented, since it one of the first (if not the first) Australian examples of pure electronic rock, a genre that later blossomed with the likes of Ollie Olsen's various projects. Here was the blueprint. Synthesisiser fanatic Steve Maxwell Von Braund teamed in the mid-70s with Geoff Green to form Cybotron in 1976, but Von Braund had already caused a considerable stir by releasing what is largely regarded as Australia's first fully electronic album, Monster Planet (Clear Light Of Jupiter, 1975).

Influenced by contemporary "Krautrock" electronic outfits like Can, Amon Duul, Neu, Ash Ra Tempel and Tangerine Dream (not surprisingly, the German-born Von Braund had been an associate/friend of some of these musicians) the ambitious suite impressed with its rich layers of synths, treated sax and electro-percussion. Former Masters Apprentices singer Jim Keays contributed vocals to the title track, while Aztecs drummer, producer and long-time collaborator Gil Matthews engineered and provided bass and drums support, with Henry Vynhal on treated violin.

The “mind-expanding brain food” offered by that debut release continued with the official formation of Cybotron during 1976, and the ensemble went on to create some marvellously inventive aural soundscapes. Their self-titled debut LP (1976) has been described as "a cross between late 60's Stockhausen and Kraftwerk's Autobahn album ... disco melodies warped with hypnotic synth fusion".

It was followed by a bootlegged live radio performance, Saturday Night Live (1977), and two further official albums. Colossus (1978) featured "a more progressive edge backed by a massive symphonic sound" and included contributions by Colin Butcher (drums, percussion, synthesiser). Mark Jones (bass, guitar, keyboards) joined for Implosion (1980) with Gil Matthews again playing drums and keyboards.

In more recent times an American electronic group has appropriated the name but has no other connection with "our" Cybotron. Von Braund and Green are still about, making "far-out music and vibes". In early 2002 Geoff Green reoprted that Cybotron is back in action and recording with Gil Mathews. He also announced that their old albums will be released on CD, along with a new live CD recorded when they supported Split Enz.

Original article by Paul Culnane, 2001 (revised 2007)



Steve Maxwell Von Braund:

"Monster Planet" / "Crystal Forest" (Clear Light Of Jupiter CLOJ-7)


May 1978
"Colossus" / "Ride to Infinity" (Champagne Records CHS-605)

May 1980
"Ride to Infinity" / "Xmas Hills"


Steve Maxwell Von Braund:

Monster Planet (Clear Light Of Jupiter CLOJ-777)


Cybotron (Clear Light Of Jupiter CLOJ-782)

Saturday Night Live
(bootleg recording of a live broadcast on 3ZZ Melbourne)

Colossus (Champagne CHA-7004)

1. Colossus (8:07)
2. Eclipse (10:40)
3. Medusa (7:41)
4. Raga (6:18)
5. Colossus (short Mix) (3:54)
6. Ride (4:41)

Steve Maxwell Von Braund - ARP 2600, Korg 700, sequencer, alto saxophone 
Geoff Green - organ, piano, strings, mellotron, synthesizer
Colin Butcher - drums, percussion, synthesizer

Implosion (Cleopatra CLP-203)

References / Links

Special thanks to Geoff Green and to Dave Graney for inspiration, suggestions and guidance

Ian McFarlane
Encyclopedia Of Australian Rock & Pop (Allen & Unwin, 1999)

John Pear
- additional discographical information Forums

Cybotron: Australia's First Powerhouse Electronic Band