Ian Hartley/ Lobe
Biography


Since his early days (Ű88) at the Pelican club in Aberdeen, Ian has been experimenting with sound, texture and melody. A graduate of EdinburghÝs Blue Room scene he has remained in that city while never indulging itÝs dominant ýtechnoţ aesthetic. Indeed from the earliest days there was something different about Lobe. Although his sound is machine derived it has never been about the machines on which it was created. Perhaps this has to do with his solid refusal to make anything which is not 100 percent Lobe in order to make a quick buck from his music. In fact he has retained his ýcareerţ as a psychiatric nurse a fact that grounds the man (he is modesty incarnate) and tempers his reponse to the praise which has been heaped upon him from certain quarters.

From his first release in 1995 the placebo 12ţ on swim~ everything which has engaged and captivated his small but dedicated band of admirers was present, underneath those modest exteriors lies music of great depth and beauty which somehow retains the lightest of touches. Mark Gage (vapourspace/cusp) played out the record so many times as to wear out the grooves and was heard to remark on hearing the man live ýjust how does he do that?ţ The broadcaster and writer Desmond Hill comissioned a track for his theme tune. The writer Jon Savage was an early convert, who like many of the devotees rates Lobe as amongst the best (if not the best) that swim has to offer.

An album followed in 1996, the self titled lobe. Understated yet passionate the album gained new converts. Satrist and radio broadcaster extrordinaire Graham Duff  dubbed the disc ýthe album of the 90Ýsţ, quite a statement coming from a self-confessed music obsessive; Neil Tennant was an unlikely convert. One of the most amusing comments came from an American radio DJ who described the album as ýthe best album to fuck to...ever!!ţ Perhaps not quite the accolade Ian was looking for but one which demonstrates that the music will work in a diverse number of settings!

 


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1999 sees the release of the latest album Hibernation. Already the fans are dubbing this the best work to date (just how one can better the ýbest album of the 90Ýs is of course a moot point). Jon Savage described it as ýsubliminal, melodic and emotionalţ - Underword magazine described it as ýsimply sublimeţ. Above all LobeÝs music is one which can fit to any setting and any season. It is quite simply a soundtrack to life.