It’s amazing how a piece of music can really remind you of old times.
In 1999 I went to The Burning Man (warning: link may contain images of nudity!) festival in Nevada. It seemed that almost every camp there was playing a track with a wonderful soaring string section. I found out that it was a band that I’d barely even heard of at the time but who were huge in America, The Flaming Lips. Last year The Flaming Lips finally made it into the public consciousness when ‘Yoshimi Battle the Pink Robots’ (UK link) (US link) eventually got some more coverage.
I’m also making new memories. I’ve been listening a lot to VNV Nation‘s new album ‘Matter & Form’ (UK link) (US link) . It’s got some great thumping tracks on there; I especially like ‘Chrome’, but I still think that for stomping industrial dance their second album is the best, ‘Praise the Fallen’ (UK link) (US link) .
I’ll do some more recommendations in the future, but here’s a quick book suggestion before I go:
If you like sci-fi, especially in a post-Blade Runner/cyberpunk/ultraviolent style then you will absolutely love ‘Altered Carbon’ by Richard Morgan. In Morgan’s book people can be digitally backed-up, so that if they die they can be ‘resleeved’ in a new body. The body way to really kill a person it to destroy their chip, and the rich make automatic back-ups every day, so when an immensely rich man apparently destroys his own chip before back-up his resleeved-self wants to know what happened. Enter Takashi Kovacs, a highly trained agent capable of incredible focus and self-control. He’s also a complete sociopath who is not averse to killing and destroying the chips of every person in the building. Frankly, it’s brilliant. Almost certainly one of the best books I’ve read for years, and the novel and its sequel has been optioned for a film so read it now before Hollywood destroys it completely! (UK link) (US link)