Magnétophone are MATT SAUNDERS and JOHN HANSON, and they both play keyboards, of sorts -- this duo from Birmingham, England make electronic music with old synthesizers, lots of effects pedals stapled to a big wooden board, and their fingers crossed.

Both showed a keen interest in music at an early age, and as boys they would often be found under water, weighed down by bricks and playing Stylophones. Displaying the gift for linguistic manipulation which has continued to sustain their career, they named this ritual the "Alpha Beti Bon-Tempi Underwater Electro-Hydro Sound-Fusion".

As teens they developed an unhealthy interest in ex-Radio One DJs, a hobby which came to an unfortunate end when they discovered a tattooed pig in Simon Bates's back garden. This sobering shock led directly to them composing "You Should Write Music", their first vinyl appearance, for Syd Barrett's favorite label Earworm.

Matt and John then embarked on a summer tour of caravan parks, during which the Static Brothers witnessed the live favorite "Air Methods", and immediately demanded that the band record this for their Static Caravan label. This was followed by the 12" "Temporary Lid EP"

At this time, John developed a fetish for dressing as Françoise Hardy and busking krautrock classics on his banjo. When the Brothers Static visited Matt and told him this news, he just shrugged his head and returned to his cell in H.M. Slade Prison muttering, "You dirty bleeder, Norris". Matt found himself at Her Majesty's pleasure after he stormed the stage at the Queen Mum's 99th birthday bash shouting "Hands up who's got Betamax!".

Magnétophone are now signed to 4AD, who sprung Matt from chokey in time for the band to record Peel studio session in Spring 2000. They also played live on a Peel show as the opening act of the BBC's music live 2000 festival, appearing alongside fellow Morton Subutonik groupies Plone and Sven Nykvist fanclub members Broadcast. They spent their advance money on starting a Sinclair ZX81 chat room using the Webmaster names of By Tor and Snowdog.

This done, Magnétophone completed work on their artisanal debut album entitled I Guess Sometimes I Need To Be Reminded Of How Much You Love Me, all the titles on which were written with the help of a bag of scrabble tiles and a Ouijia board.


1997 "The amazing aquatic humans..." (Tandy C30 Cassette, in an edition of 25 numbered copies)

1998 "you should write music" earworm (red vinyl 7", in an edition of 757 copies)

1998 "air methods" static caravan (7" only, in an edition of 1021 copies)

1999 "temporary lid ep" static caravan (12" only, in an edition of 1515 copies)

These are all long-since sold out. The band have contributed to compilation and split records on the active suspension, ochre, earworm and space age labels. Their ultimate ambition is for Palitoy to bring out a Magnétophone Shaker Maker series. A boy can dream, can't he?