Panoptique Electrical
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Panoptique Electrical

Adelaide, South Australia, Australia | INDIE

Adelaide, South Australia, Australia | INDIE
Band Alternative Avant-garde


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"Panoptique Electrical – Let The Darkness At You (Sensory Projects)"

A collection of instrumental works ranging from the delicately subtle to the emotionally raw, Let The Darkness At You gathers the musical thoughts and musings of Adelaide composer Jason Sweeney in solo form. Whilst Sweeney’s collaborations with groups such as Pretty Boy Crossover and Mist and Sea undoubtedly shine through, there is also a further exploration of shimmering drones, brooding atmospherics and melancholic instrumentation. The nineteen pieces on Let The Darkness At You are generally brief, with succinct ideas created within each track to create a masterfully cohesive whole. Although conceived for several different projects between 1998 and 2008 in locations including Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, Wagga Wagga and Glasgow, Let The Darkness At You has been constructed and edited in a way that it comes across as a meticulously singular body of work.

June, July opens the collection with undulating swirls of synthesised sound, crafted through a combination of melancholic atmospherics and rising waves of electronica. It Rains Today (for Tanja Liedtke) showcases Sweeney’s careful use of piano melodies and ability to construct emotionally resonating works without falling victim to mawkishly sentimental melodies through a parallel minimalist use of divergent electronics. Bobby, Mark and Carter play Twenty and we sit silent is based on a bedding of gently flowing sine waves, it’s minimal digital processing bringing to mind Keith Fullerton Whitman’s Playthroughs opus. As a collection Let The Darkness At You succeeds due to it’s emotional connection, hinting at darker urges than previous works whilst proving a strong touch at modern composition and usage of electronic instrumentation.

Andrew Tuttle - Cyclic Defrost

"Ambient material sees light of day"

Panoptique Electrical’s debut collection charts a very different past, writes Dan Rule.

PANOPTIQUE Electrical was never really meant to be. The new solo guise for on-again off-again Melbourne resident, electronic musician and composer Jason Sweeney traces a decade’s worth of ambient material that he never thought would see the full light of day.

“I really wanted to bring all this stuff into the foreground,” says the 37-year-old, from his home in Adelaide. “It was a chance to work on something as a listener as opposed to creating it from scratch.”

In Panoptique Electrical’s debut collection, Let the Darkness at You, Sweeney — who is known for his roles in electronic acts Pretty Boy Crossover, Mist and Sea and School of Two — reworks and re-imagines 19 pieces that were originally commissioned as soundtracks for theatre, dance, short film and art installation.

Over almost an hour and a half, the album ebbs and flows with stunningly atmospheric, computer-born textures, languidly melodic piano and distant echoes of guitar.

“This work had only been heard in the context of a theatre performance or a dance piece or a short film, and usually it’s kind of hidden,” says Sweeney. “It’s just sort of buried in the mix as a texture.”

He felt that although the pieces were purpose-written, “they weren’t necessarily used to their fullest capacity”.

“I mean, some of the piano pieces on the record were mostly written for short film and the filmmakers ended up using maybe two notes from that piece.

“The composer obviously wants all their music in the foreground,” he laughs. “So it was definitely an opportunity to pull out and expose the whole feeling of a piece.”

In the past 10 years, the Adelaide-raised Sweeney has worked on independent films and performances in locales as disparate as Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Wagga Wagga, Glasgow, Brussels and Los Angeles, also completing an artist-in-residence at the Banff Centre for the Arts in Canada.

Meanwhile, as one half of Pretty Boy Crossover — the other being Melbourne-based electronic musician and visual artist Cailan Burns — he has released six full-length albums and countless EPs and singles, becoming one of the more respected figures on the Australian experimental music landscape in the process.

Curiously, he never learned music in any formal context. Rather, he took early Cure records such as Head on the Door as a cue, and began experimenting with guitars and various antiquated keyboards.
His eventual start in composition came via his concurrent interest in theatre and performance.

“I think because I know the processes involved in theatre and dance, people seemed to find that quite appealing,” he says. “They realised I had that instinct about how sound can be used in that context.”

The Panoptique Electrical project — which features collaborative visual artwork and song-titles by Sensory Projects label head Steve Phillips — is a chance for the composer to further develop and diversify this creative mode.

But according to Sweeney, who describes Let the Darkness at You as a “kind of sleeping pill”, his objectives are simple enough.

“I just wanted it to be kind of uncompromisingly minimal and somnambulistic and really kind of sleepy, but still actually have a lot of variation going on. I also had the advantage of having all of this material from the last decade, which kind of allowed me to look at the similarities and relativities.”

It was an approach of gathering a collection of this material, reworking it “and then going to sleep every night with it on”, he says.

“And when it didn’t work, I’d go back the next day and reconfigure it again. Oh and I wouldn’t sleep much either.” - Dan Rule / The Age newspaper

"Sleeping Pills"

Having contributed to the Australian electronic landscape in countless forms and contexts, Jason Sweeney has now revisited and re-imagined a decade’s worth of solo ambient material.

It is a glacier in the night. A mountainous shadow, drifting and transmuting so languidly that it appears all but still. Moments come and go; shapes can be made out before losing themselves to the atmosphere and the ice. Echoes of piano call and resonate – partial melodies form – only to be swallowed, submerged, blunted in darkness and ambience and texture and drone.

There is an almost quixotic tranquility to this vista, but an ominousness too. Beauty and sadness and fears and memories intermingle and integrate and coalesce. It is lulling and alluring and narcotic; it is the instant before a dream. Buried neural activity at half sleep.

Let the Darkness at You – the stunning debut collection for Panoptique Electrical, solo ambient guise for Adelaide composer and electronic musician Jason Sweeney – finds its bearing in a nocturnal place, in the wanderings of the subconscious. Its title is no mistake.

“I wanted it to be a kind of sleeping pill in a way,” he says in his relaxed manner. “I wanted this album to be something that could help insomniacs like myself.”

According to Sweeney, who is best known for is roles in electronic duos Pretty Boy Crossover and School of Two – as well as his fellow Pretty Boy Cailan Burns’ collaboration with former Underground Lovers front man Vince Giarrusso in Mist & Sea – the record’s direction began to refine itself in the non-waking hours. “I was living in a basement apartment in the middle of Melbourne and was suffering very bad insomnia and having to work a day-job in an office, and was going a little bit loopy in the process,” he recounts.

“At the same time I was working on this record and it was pure joy to visit it every couple of days and just put the headphones on and lose myself in it. When it came time to sequence the record I was still having terrible sleepless nights and having to wake up at 7am to go to work, so I decided to create the track list early on and one that was very intentionally driven to put me to sleep.”

It’s quite a shift for the 37-year-old. While Sweeney’s work has always harboured an atmospheric leaning, Panoptique Electrical represents a far deeper and more thorough engagement. Over 19 tracks and 78 minutes, Let the Darkness at You shimmers with an enveloping palette of opaque, non-rhythmic atmosphere and beauteously melodic guitar, piano and computer-generated ambience.

“There’s no moment on the record where something pops up and seems weird,” he says, today chatting over the phone from his home in the South Australian capital. “I think I naturally always want to do something different, like, ‘Oh, we’ve had 10 minutes of that kind of feel, why don’t we throw something different in there.’ I think there are definitely ebbs and flows, but I didn’t suddenly want to bring in something with a beat just for the sake of change of pace.”

He puts the record’s aesthetic down to restraint. “It was almost like a kind of disciplinary approach; making myself work on the entire album with a particular feel in mind and not deviating from that. So it was kind of an approach of gathering a collection of this material, reworking it and then going to sleep every night with it on and seeing if it had that feeling that I wanted… The moment that I found myself being jarred into waking again I would make a mental note and re-visit, or take off, that track the next day.”

The source material at the heart of the Panoptique project has roots that extend far beyond Sweeney’s sleepless nights in Melbourne. Oddly for such a cogent body of work, the majority of the pieces that comprise Let the Darkness at You span a whole decade’s worth of separate projects and purpose-composed vignettes, originally commissioned for a string of individual performance pieces, installations and short films throughout Australia, North America and Europe.

But the collection represents anything but a passive retrospective. “All of the pieces of the album were chosen for their very specific feel or mood or type of composition,” he says. “It was a kind of rigorous selection process.”

“I spent a lot of time with different pieces that I’d written or had begun years before and set about the task of re-working or remixing them. Then I approached the album as a very individual project, something that could be built from scratch and be listened to as a whole, rather than a selection of various work. None of the material on the record is in its original form – as made for the dance, film or theatre productions – as a lot of this material was raw or very stripped back. It was like I had all of these starting points to work musically and then I could add, layer or subtract ideas as I went along.”

He prefers to think of it as new material. “Although I’ve really made the point that this comes from old material, in many way it’s actually really new because no one’s heard it before,” he says. “It’s only been heard in the context of a theatre performance or a dance piece or a short film, and usually it’s kind of hidden; it’s just sort of buried in the mix as a texture that’s not really all that upfront.”

“So I really wanted to bring all this stuff into the foreground and that’s exactly how I made the record – as a listener – as opposed to creating it from scratch. I could just listen to all this stuff and work out whether it would engage with someone as a record rather than as part of a live performance.”

Sweeney’s fascination with music stretches back to his childhood in Adelaide. He recalls hearing The Cure’s 1985 opus The Head on the Door as a pivotal moment. “I remember listening to that album over and over,” he laughs, “and thinking that I wanted to play the guitar properly.”

He began experimenting with various keyboards and guitars and began recording his meanderings to tape. He tracked his first demo as a 17-year-old in 1988 and remembers a lively Adelaide community radio environment as having a formative influence on his decision to pursue music. “With Three D radio in Adelaide, you could just submit demos and they would just play any old thing,” he says. “If you’d give them something, they’d play it on radio, so that was really quite motivating for musicians in Adelaide, especially in the early 90s.”

“You could make stuff and they’d play it and you’d just go ‘Wow!’ he laughs. “It was actually like this sort of strange training in itself for becoming a musician, because there was this validation to doing this stuff. I think a lot of Adelaide bands go through that. They might be really shy or something, but then their stuff gets played on Three D and their ego gets a much-needed massage and it’s like ‘I can do this!’”

Nonetheless, Sweeney went on to study theatre and performance, with his music filling the role of welcomed artistic aside. “Funnily enough, when I made my own theatre and performance stuff, I never made my own sound for it,” he muses with a chuckle.

It wasn’t long before music became the chief focus, and Sweeney’s rambling discography confirms as much. He has partaken in innumerable projects and collaborations over the years, including late 90s flirtations with Karl Melvin and Louey Hart in Sweet William, as Madeline’s Wreath with Louey Hart, as God Burning System with Rebecca Johnston, and in the early 00s with Janiece Pope as Par Avion.

Long-running projects like Other People’s Children with Nicole Lowry, solo pop project Sympatico and Pretty Boy Crossover have spawned nine full-length albums – including Pretty Boy Crossover’s luminous 2007 record A Different Handwriting – upwards of 20 EPs, splits, singles and cassettes, and countless compilation appearances. Recent work as School of Two (with Harry Whizkid), Luxury Gap (again with Lowry) and Mist & Sea (with Burns and Vince Giarrusso) has seen another full length – Mist & Sea’s stunning 2007 record Unless, and two more EPs.

Despite his prolificacy on wax, it’s been Sweeney’s soundtrack and score work – which forms the basis of Panoptique Electrical – that has perhaps been his most enduring focus. During the last decade he has worked on films and performances in locales as sprawling as Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Wagga Wagga, Glasgow, Brussels and Los Angeles, whilst also completing an artist-in-residence at the Banff Centre for the Arts in Canada.

“It’s probably what I do most, and that’s been increasing over the last five years,” he explains. “I am pretty fortunate in that most people I work with – film or theatre directors, choreographers – give me free reign over what I can make. I usually get a kind of idea of what sort of music they’d like or, as with film, you get to see the rushes or edits and know (or at least think I know) what sort of music is needed to either enhance a mood or provide an unsettling feeling.”

“Sometimes, however, I am asked to make specific types of music for productions and to be honest, this music didn’t make it to this album because the instruction was ‘can you make a kind queer dance club track’ which I did but it was part of the job of soundtracking and not necessarily something I was passionate about making. I think I’ve been doing scores and sound designs long enough now that people who approach me to make music for their works know the kind of sounds or style that I make so they don’t ask for rock anthems.”

Indeed, the fact that the skeleton of the compositions that comprise Let the Darkness at You were originally commissioned for someone else seems irrelevant when listening to the record. In actual fact, the collection’s introspective qualities are such that it’s hard to believe the works rose from anything but Sweeney’s very personal musings.

“I guess everything on this album was probably the closest to me and had the most resonance for me out of all the stuff I had made for other people,” he says. “It’s the most personal collection of music that I’ve ever done and it does feel a bit vulnerable to put it out there. I’m not from a classically trained background, yet this record felt like I was undertaking a massive exercise in composition and pushing myself harder in terms of the way I would structure music and the listening experience. If this album was to say anything about me then it would be a kind of personal plea for stillness and reflection – to quieten things down.”

“Also, while a lot of the pieces were written for other people, at the same time I felt that they weren’t used to the fullest capacity they could have been. So you know, it was an opportunity for me to say, “I really loved this piece of music that I wrote for someone, I mean, some of the piano pieces on the record were mostly written for short film and the filmmakers ended up using maybe two notes from that piece. The composer obviously wants all his or her music in the foreground,” he laughs. And I love soundtrack composers whose music is used by the filmmaker in such a way that really does, not necessarily impose an emotion, but provide some other feeling that maybe wasn’t in the film beforehand. So it was definitely an opportunity to pull out the whole feeling of a piece.”

It’s a quality that’s written all over the album, which gently oscillates between moments of introspection and outright emotive beauty. The stunning piano arrangement and subtly fuzzed textures of It Rains Today (for Tanja Leidtke), the arcing, spectral motif and gently idling underbelly of Tingling Cheeks are Love and title track Let the Darkness at You are some of the most charming sketches. The shimmering dynamics of Glacier Show I, The Paws Before Entering and Falling Snow; the gently reverbed piano atmosphere of Albury-Wodonga, May 2006 and the haunting opacity of Glacier Show II make for further highlights.

One of the most striking qualities is Sweeney’s ability to render genuine, definable sonic dynamics into such pointedly minimalist compositions. “I think that comes from having a low boredom threshold,” he laughs. “It’s interesting because one of my favourite kind of drone acts is Stars of the Lid. The music – even though it’s kind of relentlessly or uncompromisingly minimal and somnambulistic and really kind of sleepy – there’s just so much going on. And because of the slowness of it and the pace, the variation in their music astounds me.”

“I like the fact that you can have something really minimal but have a lot going on. It doesn’t have to be upfront but can kind of come in and out of the mix. I guess it’s kind of an orchestration in a sense.”

Indeed, the classical world also played a role in fashioning Sweeney’s aesthetic. “I’ve been listening to a lot of early music by a composer Thomas Tallis, who did a lot of sort of vocal chant stuff,” he says. “I was just kind of listening to the different dynamics within, say, a 14-minute piece he’d written for 20 voices or whatever, and I started thinking that it would be really interesting to apply that to drone music or stuff that’s a bit more experimental. I kind of wanted to treat the album as if it was going through several different movements.”

The process behind the recording points to a much more deconstructive, contemporary patois. While most of the pieces grew from the piano, Sweeney fed the untreated motifs through various processes, adding delays, static and distortion and various abstracted field recordings, often creating another syntax entirely.

“A lot of the material is very raw piano phrases recorded in a shed in Albury or country SA,” he admits. “Some of it is re-processed string parts. Some of it is samples of machines or static or weird things I’ve collected from underground carparks and so on, and then set about the task of ‘tuning’ these sounds into musical material.”

“There is actually no guitar used on the record even though I think it’s been mentioned that there is. All that stuff is piano put through vast amounts of distortion and echo boxes… I usually obsessively record a lot of piano phrases whenever I can get my hands on one, which has either been on artist residencies or in a CWA (Country Women’s Association) hall on the road to somewhere. I just take a small WAV recorder and put it on top the piano and record stuff for hours, sometimes just drone variations on a couple of notes or chords, or repeated motifs. Then I have hours and hours of small pieces that just wait to be treated. There’s a few tracks on the record that are pretty much the piano piece only put through a slight amount of delay, but retain their original form. And then there are more expansive tracks that are re-worked in Ableton Live and lose their identity as a piano altogether.”

Panoptique Electrical extends far beyond the purely sonic realm. Sweeney speaks of the project – and it’s visual and thematic identity – in terms of collaboration. As he goes onto explain, the involvement of Sensory Projects label boss Steve Phillips was far greater and more personal than that of mere logistics.

“He’d intimated to me a few times that he had this collection of paintings and work that he’d done, but we’d never really talked about it at any great length until we were sort of thinking about this record,” recounts Sweeney. “Steve must have showed me some sketchbooks or something and everything he had done was strangely perfect. The artwork came from older material and, a bit like the music, he had gone back and revisited and reworked it for the purposes of the album.”

The same went for the song and album titles. “I’m usually a control freak and titles come before anything,” he laughs. “These songs originally had these really dry titles based on what they were made for, like Sequence One or whatever. But Steve had a whole lot of titles based on either things he’d responded to in the music or titles he’d just had sitting around in his notebooks, including the name of the album. So that became part of the collaboration on this record as well.”

“It just felt really nice to have that stronger connection to the label, rather than just one as Steve being the guy who puts out the records and does all that other stuff, but instead on a deeper, artistic level. It’s always been a friendship-based relationship rather than a business one. I kind of see Steve as a core collaborator in Panoptique Electrical- I kind of see this potential for even installation work with Steve.”

Despite its palette, Panoptique Electrical’s artistic objectives are nonetheless humble. “It has been incredibly heartening to hear of others who have said the album has helped them drift into a deep sleep,” muses Sweeney.

“I recently gave a close friend of mine the album who has been very ill the past half year and is on a very aggressive drug which causes chronic insomnia. She told me only last week that the album has been the one thing that has truly helped her with resting and sleeping and is now helping her through her treatment,” he says.

“So, for me, the album has succeeded.”

By Dan Rule, with additional reporting by Bob Baker Fish.

Let the Darkness at You is out through Sensory Projects/Inertia. - Dan Rule / Cylic Defrost

"Yes To Fear Yes To Desire"

As Panoptique Electrical, Jason Sweeney has been crafting subtle, evocative ambient pieces for film soundtracks, theatrical scores, installations and the likes for upwards of a decade. While these commissions – assembled on last year’s Let the Darkness at You – were more reserved furnishings, evocative backgrounds for other’s art, this first track from the soon to be released Yes to Fear, Yes to Desire is bolder, more concise and directly evocative.

Much of the album, however, continues Sweeney’s singular incursions into stretching, nocturnal atmospherics. ‘Hyvönen’ is simply a dilation of this template. Its haunting cyclical piano and delicate acoustic/electric waves sweeping you across a craggy coastline at night, shafts of moon and starlight taking form and coalescing ‘til everything is as bright as day.

by Lawson Fletcher
- Mess + Noise

"Emotional Landscapes"

Panoptique Electrical’s Jason Sweeney may be partial to the odd bit of furniture music, but that doesn’t mean he’s anti-pop. He speaks to DOUG WALLEN about his thematic new album 'Yes To Fear, Year To Desire', his love of melody and his shift away from being a studio-based project.

(see URL for interview) - Mess + Noise

"Yes To Fear Yes To Desire"

Score: 8/10

Yes to Fear, Yes to Desire. Even before giving the album a listen, we’re already confronted with a powerful, simple assertion. Popular culture constantly tells us to negate, among others, those two aspects of our existence, associating them with a negativity upon which many types of control are built: fear is the realm of the unstable (and we should strive for stability), it is cowardice (and we should strive for braveness), the feminine (and we should strive to be masculine), the irrational (and we ought to rationalize absolutely everything), and the list could go on; it’s the same for desire, and is connected at a level with fear, for we must not desire in order to neutralize potential transgressions and revelations about what is imposed upon us and therefore about who we might really be. But like an undercurrent, like our circulatory system, both fear and desire nurture our movement and develop a creative tension with the outside world: a strong, minimalistic, semi-neoclassical core disturbed by subtle, delicate electronics. Stillness gives way to motion and vice-versa; an erotic dynamic made of dreams immersed in mist leads our minds into sublime, tranquil, meditational obscurity.

Ambience, as a unity, a layered whole of elegant, quietly experience-changing inertia, comes to resemble our own beings, and as Panoptique Electrical lays down suggested paths of slow, fearful intensity, our consciousnesses can finally close their eyes and let us get in touch with our bodies, reclaiming them from the schizophrenic division from the mind in that shining, sublime state in which sleep has already taken hold of us but we haven’t still completely let go. This is where we can be truly ourselves, our fears at last given shape, our desires unhinged, our reason finally coexisting with everything it denies and keeps imprisoned – it lets us live as wholes. The video for “The Free Form” (which you can watch in Panoptique’s Myspace) is, in this sense, a guide: two bodies coexisting, an essential duality brought forward in a vision of Rembrandt-like tones and androgynous nudity framed by our own position behind the camera lens as voyeurs, craving that freedom, wanting that hope drawn in somber colors by a minimal string phrase, giving in to the slight eros of the idea of being complete.

Each instrument is given a proper introduction as well as a proper role in the creation of an open-ended atmosphere; diversity shakes the minimalistic monolith and turns it into a multifaceted, incomplete-sounding (in a good way) panorama. “Some Rooms Become Us”, a definite highlight of the album, shows us that minimal ambience is not necessarily of a “long duration” (changing over time at a prehistoric rate) - modifying the instrumentation until it sounds like an accordion that inexorably washes away our rationalized limits and lets us flow with it as liquids, sometimes static, sometimes rapid, sometimes like saviors, sometimes like destroyers. A piano line becomes recurrent; we wake up within the dream feeling “The Fear of Being Beautiful”, our perpetual self-denial followed by “The Desire to be Beautiful”, an overcoming of low-pitched electronics. Even if the names of the tracks at times provide for unreachable personal mysteries, the music is beautifully coherent, and the theme isn’t hard to follow throughout the album: a virtue, I believe, among the usual quasi-purposelessness and lack of aim in many an ambient record. Yes to Fear, Yes to Desire, however, does suffer from a couple of awkward transitions (like going from “The Desire to be Beautiful” to “Framed by Clouds”) as well as a couple more short tracks that seem rather out of place, lacking the depth of the longer ones, a lack which transforms them into moments of awkwardness too.

In the end, we might feel an impressive pull towards ourselves; if an ‘atmosphere’ implies an external situation seen, Panoptique Electrical turns the term around into an internal feeling that suggests us to move beyond all those cultural, social pressures and find true balance in the blurring of borders, lines, and limits. If you don’t, you’ll still have listened to a most interesting album that is not entirely minimalistic or ambient, lingering darkly, peacefully, among both.

-David Murrieta - The Silent Ballet

"Panoptique Electrical - Sydney show"

Panoptique Electrical
Sydney // NSW // 23.08.2009

by Geoffrey Gartner

Jason Sweeney, the brains behind Panoptique Electrical, has spent August on the road promoting the release of his album Yes to Fear, Yes to Desire. Joined by cellist Zoë Barry, electric guitarist Jed Palmer and Tristan Louth-Robins on electronics, the group's tour has taken in Adelaide, Mt Gambier, Melbourne and Canberra, with this Sydney gig the last stop on their travels.

The venue for the Sydney performance was the unbelievably tiny Don't Look Gallery in Dulwich Hill, a space devoted to experimental New Media. A small but appreciative audience filled the space to capacity, yet despite the cramped confines there was a general atmosphere of bonhomie amongst the attendees. With no room for seats people either stood or sat against the walls. Fortunately there was a fine selection of colourful pillows at hand to ease discomfort. I perched on a pillow covered with manga imagery and waited for the show to begin.

First up was a performance by Catfingers (Ashley Scott). His short set was mostly comprised of sample-based material overlaid with occasional, discrete beats. Unfortunately, with the gallery door left open, his pleasantly innocuous soundscapes came off second best to the continual barrage of traffic noise from New Canterbury Road.

Thankfully, once the Panoptique Electrical quartet began their performance the door was firmly shut and stayed so. Surrounded by a goodly variety of laptops and other electronic impedimenta, the four performers set themselves up in a tight-knit little unit, with the cello and electric guitar players seated behind their colleagues on a small dais in the gallery window.

Using the rich, open C-string of the cello as a tonal basis, the Panoptique quartet slowly established a thick wash of pulsating, reverb-drenched sound. In this near beatless sonic environment, the melodic content was the controlling element, with Jason Sweeney dictating the musical flow with mellifluous dyads from his MIDI keyboard. These melodic droplets fell on an undercurrent of elongated instrumental samples and processed cello and electric guitar tones. There was a real sense of cohesion to Panoptique's sense of ensemble, aided by an implicit sense of communication amongst the four players. However, it would have been nice if there was less dependence on pre-recorded cello samples at the outset, especially with the real thing at hand.

The live mix was quite something, and enveloped the Don't Look Gallery in a treacly morass of sound. Although this occasionally swamped some of the finer effects, such as the cello pizzicato, the Panoptique quartet displayed a fine sense of control, pulling back the volume and intensity whenever things threatened to get overwhelming. However, this proved to be something of a double-edged sword, with each new iteration of melodic material from Sweeney heralding a predictably long sustained build-up followed by an equally long release. The entire set became rather episodic as a result.

That aside, the Panoptique Electrical experience was a gratifying one, the environs of the Don't Look Gallery adding to the overall feeling of being immersed in an intimate sonic installation. This was a musical experience in which to wallow. - Resonate Magazine



"Let The Darkness At You" (2008)
"Yes To Fear, Yes To Desire" (2009)



PANOPTIQUE ELECTRICAL is both an experimental studio project by Jason Sweeney and instrumentalist collaboration with electronic and classical musicians and visual artists: Zoë Barry, Jed Palmer, Steve Phillips and Tristan Louth-Robins. Jason has been composing sound and music scores for live theatre, dance, film/video and installation projects since 1998. He is one half of the duos, Pretty Boy Crossover and Luxury Gap. He also performs with the Australian band, Mist & Sea.

In 2008 he began work on a series of new sound compositions based around texts by and films made with Fiona Sprott called "If Not For You Then Who: Essays on Fear & Desire". In late 2008 he began developing another body of compositions and sound installation called "Faceless Music" in Perth, Western Australia, based at cia studios. An album of a decade of collected works "Let the Darkness at You" (1998-2008) was released August 2008 on Australian label, Sensory Projects and distributed by Inertia Music.

The newest album "Yes To Fear, Yes To Desire" was released in August 2009.