Interview with Peter Crane
Date 01 june 2004
Written by Gordon Taylor of Infectious Unease
have had the pleasure of seeing Crystalline Effect play
many times. They are a blend of trip hop, electro industrial.
Offering an enticing plethora of sound, the lyrics and
vocals express strength and emotion. Crystalline Effect
has been evolving since 2002 and now are signed to Black
BAND: The Crystalline Effect
BAND MEMBERS: Elenor Rayner: vocals, Peter Crane: music.
BANDS DISCOGRAPHY: 2004: "Glass" full-length
CD (soon to be released through Black Flames Records)
BANDS WEB PAGE:
BANDS EMAIL ADDRESS: widdershin at hotmail.com
Gordon: How did you meet? And when did The Crystalline
Effect first begin?
It was late 2002, I had just finished making the album,
The White Ship, for a project of mine called The Lady
Of The House Of Scandal, which is an ethereal/world project.
So I wanted to do a new project with a different style.
Basically I put an ad out in Primary, a webpage for Australian
darkwave musicians, looking for a singer, and Elenor was
the one who answered. I was aware of Elenor's main project,
Sobriquet, and GUP, the label Sobriquet was on, due to
my mate Stark signing up to GUP. So I had already heard
her music before she contacted me and was really blown
away when she was actually interested in working with
So I sent her a CD in the mail of a new track I had made
to see if she could do any vocals over it, and that turned
out to be Gabriel, our first ever song. At this point
we hadn't actually met each other in person. We met up
in a club, Psychonaut, one night for Elenor to give me
a CD of a new set of vocals which turned out to be Primitive
Line, our second track.
What previous bands have you been involved in? What styles
of music did you play in these bands? You are also involved
in other bands, for those who are not aware of them would
you like to tell me about them?
I've done a few projects in the past. First there was
'Widdershin', which was a Black Metal band that I played
guitar in and wrote all the music for. We recorded our
songs on Cubase 3.7, then played live shows with a backing
Around that time I also made a cyberpunk album, '9-volt
revolt', with Dead Inside The Chrysalis under the name
After that I did a project called 'The Lady Of The House
Of Scandal' with vocals, flutes and Tibetan instruments
provided by an amazing musician named Angela Grima, and
myself doing the production and electronics. That was
a sort of ethereal/world/ambient style. We made an album
called 'The White Ship'.
I've also played live keys and guitars for a couple of
live shows for Stark, which is something I'd love to do
What instruments and equipment do you use when producing
and performing your music? And how much has technology
changed for you?
All the music is written and arranged on a PC running
Cubase SX. Most of the synths and samplers used are software,
which of course is a very new technology. Decent soft
synths have only been around for about 5 years, and I've
only been making music with computers a couple of years
before that, so I've really "ridden that wave"
of soft synths since it started.
When I started, you really weren't able to make an electro
track using just a computer, since it was just Cubase
3.7 then. Then the program ReBirth came along which expanded
my sound a lot, as long as you complimented it with hardware.
I've also got a couple of Fender strats which find their
way into our songs sometimes.
Elenor has a similar studio setup to me. So I create all
the music at my place, send it over to her place where
she records the vocals and sends it back to me.
To perform our music live, we use a backing CD. I play
my microKORG with a controller keyboard on some songs,
and on other songs I play guitar. Elenor sings and triggers
samples from her ASR10. We also use a 3rd member on extra
keys and backing vocals live.
You will be releasing an album with Black Flames Records,
how did this come about? What was the inspiration behind
the music and lyrics? How long did it take you to produce,
and what was the creative process of production?
Basically we sent Black Flames a demo and they signed
us up for 3 albums!
I was really into making sure that the music was true
to where we're coming from, you know. I wanted it to sound
like I'd sat in my apartment in Richmond (an inner Melbourne
suburb) and written this music... I was just trying to
make honest music with decent production.
That's why I've sort of grown out of other genres like
Black Metal. I'm not some Ice Troll from the Frozen North
or some shite! Instead I took my inspiration from going
to clubs, coming home, firing up my home studio, loading
up a soft-sampler and some soft-synths and making some
I would make a complete track in my studio, then post
it to Elenor, who'd post it back with vocals. This is
how we write songs together, and it took us about 14 months
to write our album. We always use the post instead of
exchanging Mp3s...I'd rather have Elenor hear a track
in full quality, rather than work with compressed files.
The same goes with DJing Mp3s. If a DJ hears an Mp3 of
any of my stuff and wants to spin it, I'd rather send
them a CDr and have them play that than let them go out
with an Mp3 burned to a CD.
How has the response been for your music?
To the people who do know of us, their response has been
damn good so far. For one thing it's scored us a rec.
contract! There's also been a couple of DJs who are friends
of mine who have been playing our music around Melbourne
goth clubs, which I really appreciate.
But really we've deliberately held back from having any
reviews or doing any serious promotion. Our album isn't
out yet, once it's out the real promotion will begin.
The label is getting professional firms like Hardbeat
Propaganda to promote us, as well as the usual zine ads
Have done any remixes for your music or for any other
We couldn't have possibly fit another remix on our album,
so I haven't done any remixes for The Crystalline Effect.
Of course when we play live, the songs are restructured
a bit, but that's not really a 'remix'. I haven't done
any remixes that have been released through any record
labels yet, but I will be remixing another Black Flames
artist called 'Last Influence Of Brain' for an Orkus compilation
in the near future.
Are you involved in any side projects?
I'm just starting an Acid Techno/Industrial project called
'Plague Sequence'. This project is still in it's formative
stages at the moment, so I can't say too much. Just that
it's totally dancefloor orientated and the music I've
written for the project so far is some of my favourite
music that I've ever written - and some of the most hardcore
When you get the time what music do you all enjoy listening
I've always got music playing at my place... I'm really
into Die Form at the moment. As well as Suicide Commando,
Icon Of Coil, Dulce Liquido, Nebula-H, Oneiroid Psychosis,
Wumpscut, Assemblage 23, Front Line Assembly, Backlash,
you know, at the moment it's that kind of EBM stuff mostly.
As well as some industrial like Converter and some trance
like Klasic and Sanders.
You have done a few gigs where have they been held at,
which ones have you enjoyed the most and how was the audience's
The best gig I had ever played was as The Crystalline
Effect on March 7th, 2004 at an event called 'Achtung',
with Tankt and Angel Theory also on the bill. Great crowd
size and response...Professional atmosphere and nice lighting
and visuals. Thanks to the 'Dark Events' crew for that!
We've got some more upcoming gigs organised by 'Dark Events'
We've also played at Dream Niteclub in Melbourne a couple
of times when they've had goth clubs there, like "Cabaret
Nocturne" and "Xibalba", and at a very
cool venue on Brunswick St called First Floor.
Which bands have you performed gigs with?
As The Crystalline Effect - Tankt and Angel Theory! Damn
cool bunch of guys in those bands... We're also playing
a gig in June with Ikon.
Apart from that we've usually been playing alongside DJs.
I really don't like playing electro gigs with live rock
bands with drummers on the bill as well. When you get
bands with live drummers and bands with backing tracks
on the same bill, the bands with drumkits just "own"
the electro acts!
Do you have any funny or interesting experiences you would
like to talk about?
Not yet...ask us again when we've done some touring together!
You received press, electronic press, radio airplay and
dj airplay from around the world. What countries, radio
stations and dj have been positive about your work?
Well the Melbourne DJs have really been appreciating our
stuff, same with the Sydney crew, namely DJs Brother Pierce,
Jay from Carmilla's, Gary/Volatile and NeoTokyo. Our label
in Poznan, Poland. There was a French radio station who
asked me for a CD, and we've been promised a feature in
a great Canadian dark culture print zine called Comatose
Rose (www.comatoserose.com). But yeah as I say, we've
been deliberately holding back from promotion untill our
album comes out.
Apart from being in The Crystalline Effect, what other
creative things do you both get up to?
I just play a lot of guitar, as I have most days since
early primary school, and spend a lot of time in front
What do you think of the subculture in Australia?
I think very highly of it, at least the music side of
it. It seems that no matter how obscure or underground
your music tastes are, there is a community to support
it in Melbourne. For example the Merzbow concerts this
year were absolutely packed, and that's just 90 minutes
of white noise! Also Australia has just proven with the
recent Covenant tour that we can successfully bring international
EBM acts to our shores.
What are your future plans?
Well as for the near future...our first album will be
released soon by Black Flames Records. We're gonna do
another couple of albums for them, as well as a remix
album. I'll keep working on Plague Sequence, see if it
gets any label interest. I'd love to do more remixing
for bands on record labels, if anyone wants contact me
about it. I'd also love to score a DJ residency at a Melbourne
goth club in the near future!