The Observatory

From left to right: Chery Ong, Dharma, and Yuen Chee Wai

Since its formation in 2001, The Observatory has expressed itself in multiple ways from folk electronica to prog and avant rock, taking a stylistic sledgehammer to each and every one of its previous releases. The latest constellation of The Observatory features Yuen Chee Wai and Dharma on guitars, EFX and objects; and Cheryl Ong on drums; with Ong and Yuen multitasking on electronics. This marks The Observatory’s latest sojourn into wordless territories and atonalism, with influences from post-punk to free improv and experimental electronics – a vibrant ecology of pulsing vibrations, extended freeplay and propulsive motorik-tions.

Releases

Authority is Alive

Year of Release: 2020
Recorded live at the Playfreely Festival in Singapore, November 2019, Authority is Alive is a potent performance mixed from an intoxicating brew of poetry, philosophy and sonic alchemy. In an unannounced coupling, Japan’s psychedelic and avant-garde legend Haino Keiji teamed up with Singapore’s art rock veterans The Observatory to deliver a visceral performance. Alternating between voice and guitar, Haino was sonic shaman, channelling the raw forces of nature through his entire body. Pared down to a three-piece since 2019, The Observatory showed off their new predilection for thrilling improvisation influenced by their Southeast Asian roots. Mixed and mastered by Lasse Marhaug, the chance to lose – and find – ourselves in this otherworldly performance is now here.

Trails to the Cosmic Vibrations

Year of Release: 2018
Trails to the Cosmic Vibrations is a split LP that brings together two bands from Asia with outwardly contrasting dispositions, while sharing sympathetic resonances. On Side A, hailing from Osaka, psych-rock legends, Acid Mothers Temple & the Melting Paraiso U.F.O., presents an electrifying B-movie experience of extra-terrestrial abduction and interstellar travel. On Side O, The Observatory presents ‘Vibrational’, an expansive, nine-minute threnody recorded at their last major concert in 2017, where members past and present came together, alongside an ensemble of 30 young guitarists.

Shadows

Year of Release: 2018
This is not a split album. Shadows is the curious offspring of Norwegian noise-rock band MoE and The Observatory, a radiant chase after light and darkness, casting amorphous, illusory paths of Indian carnatic loops and heavy narcotic gamelan dreams. Containing just three songs, the album explores a hauntology of sounds, a melange of evocative synths, disembodying voices, percussion, and a ton of guitars from the most rancorous to the more profound.

August is the Cruellest

Year of Release: 2016
Recorded in Singapore and Norway, August is the Cruellest is a work of political noise, a punishing challenge to look inward and move forward. Brimming over with rage, this album chafes at the bit of inertia and strains against the monolith of apathy. Leslie Low’s voice is the rare stream of calm in this turmoil, calling upon all to create a better world upon the ashes of what came before.

Continuum

Year of Release: 2015
These recordings feature Balinese gamelan-inspired bronze instruments The Observatory built based on a six-tone scale of their own devising. Drawing inspiration from Balinese and African rhythms, early electronic music from Norway, the symmetry and shape of mirror images in kotekans, and the trance element in repetitive structures. The music remains dark, picking up from where they left off on their fifth album, Catacombs.

Oscilla

Year of Release: 2014
The current constellation of The Observatory are vibrations of shifting rhythms, synth bass space, oscillators and abused guitars. Repetition is at the heart of their riff. Hammering out a certain truth. Noise, rock, and melancholy. A society in tumult, divided. Where new forms of oppression are actively met with new strategies of resistance.

Behind These Eyes: The Catacombs Remixes

Year of Release: 2014
Titled after a key lyric from Catacombs, Behind These Eyes sees 11 visionaries from Singapore, China, Norway, Thailand/Japan and the US, steering the trajectories of the original album in different directions. The result is a sprawling double LP that is by turns more violent, calming, morose, euphoric, abstract, and elegiac.

Gezeitentümpel

Year of Release: 2014
Like the discarded and the forgotten artifacts of our past and future surfacing in the images of the tidal pools ( or Gezeitentümpel), the noise these exhumed objects would make is imagined and extrapolated upon. Forgotten but in their true essence, pure and beautiful in atonal character, and just as equally important.

Catacombs

Year of Release: 2012
A more primal, new dark wave sound. A study in delusion, insanity and obsession, Catacombs provokes and inspires in a deeply enigmatic way. Even at its coldest and most abstract, it is human to the core.

Dark Folke

Year of Release: 2009
Recorded and mixed in Bergen, Norway with their long-time collaborator, Jorgen Traeen, the math prog rock of The Observatory’s third album A Far Cry From Here has morphed into a fluid mystical beast. Most songs have no drums on them. But there is rhythm. Only the type of rhythm associated with an invisible pulse. An implied rhythm.

A Far Cry From Here

Year of Release: 2007
Assimilating rich and myriad influences – Soft Machine, This Heat, Tortoise, Talk Talk, Shining, Jaga Jazzist, Supersilent, Brian Wilson, Robert Wyatt, Nick Drake – the band heads towards an adventurous new direction buoyed by a distinctly different musical vision and vocalist/guitarist Leslie Low’s pensive, tender yet elliptical song-craft.

Blank Walls

Year of Release: 2005
Deliberately loose and eschewing particular themes and genres, Blank Walls – co-produced & mixed at Duper by Norwegian Jorgen Traeen of Jaga Jazzist fame – is a diverse, inventive palette of words, sonic layering and musical contrasts. Yet another bold work reflecting the sextet’s ability to combine emotional impact with intricate structures and progressive sounds.

Time of Rebirth

Year of Release: 2004
The debut album has been described variously by critics as “tender and beautiful in its intimacy” and “all about soft-spoken loners and romantic gentle souls tweaking sensitivities and nursing wounds in dreamy cafes”; and that by invoking “otherworldly beauty through a blend of electric gadgetry and classic instrumentation, it gradually lays “bare their emotional core while taking your breath away.”

The Observatory

From left to right: Chery Ong, Dharma, and Yuen Chee Wai

Since its formation in 2001, The Observatory has expressed itself in multiple ways from folk electronica to prog and avant rock, taking a stylistic sledgehammer to each and every one of its previous releases. The latest constellation of The Observatory features Yuen Chee Wai and Dharma on guitars, EFX and objects; and Cheryl Ong on drums; with Ong and Yuen multitasking on electronics. This marks The Observatory’s latest sojourn into wordless territories and atonalism, with influences from post-punk to free improv and experimental electronics – a vibrant ecology of pulsing vibrations, extended freeplay and propulsive motorik-tions.

Releases

Authority is Alive

Year of Release: 2020
Recorded live at the Playfreely Festival in Singapore, November 2019, Authority is Alive is a potent performance mixed from an intoxicating brew of poetry, philosophy and sonic alchemy. In an unannounced coupling, Japan’s psychedelic and avant-garde legend Haino Keiji teamed up with Singapore’s art rock veterans The Observatory to deliver a visceral performance. Alternating between voice and guitar, Haino was sonic shaman, channelling the raw forces of nature through his entire body. Pared down to a three-piece since 2019, The Observatory showed off their new predilection for thrilling improvisation influenced by their Southeast Asian roots. Mixed and mastered by Lasse Marhaug, the chance to lose – and find – ourselves in this otherworldly performance is now here.

Trails to the Cosmic Vibrations

Year of Release: 2018
Trails to the Cosmic Vibrations is a split LP that brings together two bands from Asia with outwardly contrasting dispositions, while sharing sympathetic resonances. On Side A, hailing from Osaka, psych-rock legends, Acid Mothers Temple & the Melting Paraiso U.F.O., presents an electrifying B-movie experience of extra-terrestrial abduction and interstellar travel. On Side O, The Observatory presents ‘Vibrational’, an expansive, nine-minute threnody recorded at their last major concert in 2017, where members past and present came together, alongside an ensemble of 30 young guitarists.

Shadows

Year of Release: 2018
This is not a split album. Shadows is the curious offspring of Norwegian noise-rock band MoE and The Observatory, a radiant chase after light and darkness, casting amorphous, illusory paths of Indian carnatic loops and heavy narcotic gamelan dreams. Containing just three songs, the album explores a hauntology of sounds, a melange of evocative synths, disembodying voices, percussion, and a ton of guitars from the most rancorous to the more profound.

August is the Cruellest

Year of Release: 2016
Recorded in Singapore and Norway, August is the Cruellest is a work of political noise, a punishing challenge to look inward and move forward. Brimming over with rage, this album chafes at the bit of inertia and strains against the monolith of apathy. Leslie Low’s voice is the rare stream of calm in this turmoil, calling upon all to create a better world upon the ashes of what came before.

Continuum

Year of Release: 2015
These recordings feature Balinese gamelan-inspired bronze instruments The Observatory built based on a six-tone scale of their own devising. Drawing inspiration from Balinese and African rhythms, early electronic music from Norway, the symmetry and shape of mirror images in kotekans, and the trance element in repetitive structures. The music remains dark, picking up from where they left off on their fifth album, Catacombs.

Oscilla

Year of Release: 2014
The current constellation of The Observatory are vibrations of shifting rhythms, synth bass space, oscillators and abused guitars. Repetition is at the heart of their riff. Hammering out a certain truth. Noise, rock, and melancholy. A society in tumult, divided. Where new forms of oppression are actively met with new strategies of resistance.

Behind These Eyes: The Catacombs Remixes

Year of Release: 2014
Titled after a key lyric from Catacombs, Behind These Eyes sees 11 visionaries from Singapore, China, Norway, Thailand/Japan and the US, steering the trajectories of the original album in different directions. The result is a sprawling double LP that is by turns more violent, calming, morose, euphoric, abstract, and elegiac.

Gezeitentümpel

Year of Release: 2014
Like the discarded and the forgotten artifacts of our past and future surfacing in the images of the tidal pools ( or Gezeitentümpel), the noise these exhumed objects would make is imagined and extrapolated upon. Forgotten but in their true essence, pure and beautiful in atonal character, and just as equally important.

Catacombs

Year of Release: 2012
A more primal, new dark wave sound. A study in delusion, insanity and obsession, Catacombs provokes and inspires in a deeply enigmatic way. Even at its coldest and most abstract, it is human to the core.

Dark Folke

Year of Release: 2009
Recorded and mixed in Bergen, Norway with their long-time collaborator, Jorgen Traeen, the math prog rock of The Observatory’s third album A Far Cry From Here has morphed into a fluid mystical beast. Most songs have no drums on them. But there is rhythm. Only the type of rhythm associated with an invisible pulse. An implied rhythm.

A Far Cry From Here

Year of Release: 2007
Assimilating rich and myriad influences – Soft Machine, This Heat, Tortoise, Talk Talk, Shining, Jaga Jazzist, Supersilent, Brian Wilson, Robert Wyatt, Nick Drake – the band heads towards an adventurous new direction buoyed by a distinctly different musical vision and vocalist/guitarist Leslie Low’s pensive, tender yet elliptical song-craft.

Blank Walls

Year of Release: 2005
Deliberately loose and eschewing particular themes and genres, Blank Walls – co-produced & mixed at Duper by Norwegian Jorgen Traeen of Jaga Jazzist fame – is a diverse, inventive palette of words, sonic layering and musical contrasts. Yet another bold work reflecting the sextet’s ability to combine emotional impact with intricate structures and progressive sounds.

Time of Rebirth

Year of Release: 2004
The debut album has been described variously by critics as “tender and beautiful in its intimacy” and “all about soft-spoken loners and romantic gentle souls tweaking sensitivities and nursing wounds in dreamy cafes”; and that by invoking “otherworldly beauty through a blend of electric gadgetry and classic instrumentation, it gradually lays “bare their emotional core while taking your breath away.”

Privacy Policy

65logo

We may use “cookies”, where a small data file is sent to your browser to store and track information about you when you enter our websites. The cookie is used to track information such as the number of users and their frequency of use, profiles of users and their preferred sites. While this cookie can tell us when you enter our sites and which pages you visit, it cannot read data off your hard disk.

You can choose to accept or decline cookies. Most web browsers automatically accept cookies, but you can usually modify your browser setting to decline cookies if you prefer. This may prevent you from taking full advantage of the website.

To safeguard your personal data, all electronic storage and transmission of personal data are secured with appropriate security technologies.

This site may contain links to external sites whose data protection and privacy practices may differ from ours. We are not responsible for the content and privacy practices of these other websites and encourage you to consult the privacy notices of those sites.

Please contact hello@178.128.89.162

(a) For any enquires or feedback on our data protection policies and procedures,
(b) If you require more information on or access to the data which you have earlier provided to us.

Artists

Releases

Videos

Contact

Close

Artists

Releases

Videos

Contact

Privacy Policy