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Alpinestars was an electronica-rock duo based in Manchestermarker.

History

The Beginnings (1995-1999)

Richard Woolgar and Glyn Thomas met each other in 1995, as a result of being in separate bands that shared the same rehearsal space. They found they had more in common with each other than with their respective bands, so they broke away to form their own ephemeral electro group, which they named "Maxim."

Although Maxim never produced anything, it brought Woolgar and Thomas to the attention of the promoter of a Manchester club called "Homoelectric." The pair was invited to create an hour-long set to perform live within a week. They finished mixing 20 minutes before they were scheduled to perform, and took the name "Alpinestars" after a mountain bike Thomas owned. The gig was successful for the pair, who were reputedly shocked at the crowd's response.

The EP (1999-2000)

Alpinestars signed with Faith and Hope Records, and debuted in August 1999 with a limited edition EP titled "Las Vegas." Its third track, "Interlaken," became the most requested track on Steve Lamacq's "Radio 1" evening show. The band followed up with two more EPs, "Silicon Chick" in November 1999, and "Kitzbuhel Weekend" in March 2000. A single off this latter EP became a "Single of the Week" in NME magazine.

B.A.S.I.C. and White Noise (2000-2003)

In July 2000, Alpinestars released their first commercial single "77 Sunset Strip," which they followed up with their first full-length album B.A.S.I.C. (standing for "Beginner's All-Purpose Symbolic Instruction Code"). B.A.S.I.C. was released in September 2000 by Faith and Hope, and later rereleased in 2003 by Guidance Recordings. It was praised by numerous magazines, despite being hard to find.

Alpinestars left Faith and Hope in 2001 and released their second major album, White Noise, a year later, with Riverman Records and Astralwerks (for the US release). Both Woolgar and Thomas contribute vocals for songs on White Noise, and Brian Molko, lead singer of Placebo, lends Alpinestars his voice for "Carbon Kid." According to Woolgar, "We wanted to get away from the sampler duo mentality."

In a 2002 interview with PlayLouder, the pair was asked to talk about the direction they wanted to go with White Noise. On being unsigned, Thomas explained,
"Being in an unsigned band is just as much fun as being in a signed band...It's almost as though that's the only time you're in total control of what you do - when you're unsigned...I'd be scared shitless being twenty one years old and signing a major record deal now because you know that you've only got a year to prove yourself.
If you don't sell a lot of records in that year you're probably going to be yesterday's news very quickly and find it very difficult to move on and do something else."


Alpinestars has not released anything significant since White Noise, although a third album entitled Time Spent With Machines was recorded with Dimitri Tikovoi and Rob Kirwan in 2005 in Flood's studio in Kensal Green, London. It has yet to be released by their label Riverman.

Since then Glyn Thomas has reputedly reinvented himself as Lucien Caine, producing music that is quite different from Alpinestars, and also produced early demos for acoustic musicians Stephen Fretwell and Liam Frost.

Discography

Albums



Singles

  • 2000 "77 Sunset Strip" UK #139
  • 2001 "Interlaken" UK #119
  • 2002 "Snow Patrol" UK #99
  • 2002 "Carbon Kid" (feat. Brian Molko) UK #63
  • 2003 "Burning Up" UK #84


Game appearances



References




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