Amplifier - The Octopus (2010)


As most of Manchester sleeps, three men work through the night in a giant Victorian mill building. As the dawn breaks and the city begins to stir they continue to sweat and toil in an unlikely continuance of the giant red-brick edifice’s industrial past. But replacing the roar of looms, belts and flywheels they – Sel Balamir, Matt Brobin and Neil Mahony – make music with guitars, drums and bass. Sel has arrived in Manchester from London, Matt from Wales and Neil from Ireland. Together they are Amplifier and they are giving life to "The Octopus".

Ostensibly The Octopus is the third album by the band, but to Sel, Matt and Neil is it much more. It has taken them three years to make and they’ve financed it themselves, without any record company support (or interference), and so the results of their labours are huge in scale and panoramic in scope.

For a start, its 16 songs run together into a concept piece lasting just over two hours and so spreads across two CDs or three discs of vinyl.

Songwriter and spokesman Sel is under no illusions: “A record company would have insisted we release it as two separate albums. We talked about doing that ourselves – because we’d probably make twice as much money – but to us the aesthetic way it’s received is more important. Putting it out like this is a statement.”

That statement extends far beyond the music, to include the commitment and self-belief that have fuelled the band since they came close to splitting following the release of their second album, Insider, in 2006.


The Octopus
Album art: 
Release date: 

1. The Runner
2. Minion’s Song
3. Interglacial Spell
4. The Wave
5. The Octopus
6. Planet Of Insects
7. White Horses At Sea // Utopian Daydream
8. Trading Dark Matter On The Stock Exchange

1. The Sick Rose
2. Interstellar
3. The Emperor
4. Golden Ratio
5. Fall Of The Empire
6. Bloodtest
7. Oscar Night // Embryo
8. Forever And More

Music label: 
United Kingdom
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