Real Name:
Ian Hartley
Since his early days ('88) at the Pelican club in Aberdeen, Ian Hartley has been experimenting with sound, texture and melody. A graduate of Edinburgh's Blue Room scene he has retained his 'career' as a psychiatric nurse, a fact that grounds the man (he is modesty incarnate) and tempers his response to the praise which has been heaped upon him from certain quarters.

Lobe Discography Tracks


Lobe - Lobe album art Lobe Lobe (Album) Swim ~ UK 1996 Sell This Version
Lobe - Hibernation album art Lobe Hibernation (Album) Swim ~, Swim ~ UK 1999 Sell This Version

Singles & EPs

Lobe - Placebo album art Lobe Placebo Swim ~ UK 1995 Sell This Version
none Lobe - Fundamentalism (Part 2) album art Pet Shop Boys Minimal (Lobe Remix) Fundamentalism (Part 2)(CDr, Promo) Parlophone none UK 2006 Sell This Version


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June 4, 2015
Electronic musician & psychiatric nurse Ian Hartley, carves therapeutic melodic equilibrium between sanity & insanity. This is his story.

“The whole stigma against the mentally ill means that people suffer in silence for such a long time because they can’t go to a doctor & say ‘I feel I’m going mad.’ You do that & you end up being admitted to a unit in hospital somewhere. They are still completely normal, they’re not sub-human or anything. It’s just maybe, in their own lives, their histories, it all came too soon.”

“Creativity is therapeutic - absolutely, totally. Where life seems to get narrower, this is escapism. You get pissed off & you can get stuck into the music. Sometimes it can make you even more stressed out if it doesn't go anywhere. Usually though, just out of the blue, something will turn up, it will just happen. Then it’s great. That’s the best thing. When there’s all this stuff building in your head, it’s just nice to let those ideas & emotions out.”

“A lot of the time I don’t know why I'm doing it or where it's coming from. I don’t consciously try & write a song for any specific environment, but there is a space for what I’m doing, I think. It doesn’t sound like anyone else, though there is a familiarity to it. People need to sit down & listen to it though, as it’s not immediately forceful & grabbing.”

“First of all it was me & my brother playing together with two guitars & no extras. Even in punk music without a drum kit it was difficult, so my brother persuaded me to buy a drum machine. The whole Acid House thing came to Aberdeen a bit later than where it hit everybody else. I got into the techno stuff at the beginning of the ‘90s. Then my brother moved down from Aberdeen to attend university, which meant I could only use the drum machine for one month every four. So I moved down to Edinburgh.”

“I still use the one drum machine, a Roland R5. It's pretty basic & it’s falling apart, but within the last twelve months I’ve steadily built up tracks... I'm writing, not necessarily for the album though, just writing. I’ll make a couple of tracks around an idea. Then when that’s done, I'll look to do something else. It's all centred around the same kind of sound. With the limited equipment, that’s the only way to work. I just find... I feel as though I haven't really started yet. I’ve a better idea now of the kind of sound I want than I did a year ago but it’s not healthy to know exactly what sound you want. You’ve got to keep going, changing. The overall sound is quite melancholy, quite emotional. I suppose there’s something that I'm trying to convey but I’m not sure what it is.”

(written and published 1997)

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