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Deltron 3030: Virus (from Deltron 3030)
A very fine rap track from a very fine concept album. The titular superhero overthrows megacorporations and oppressive government by, among other methods, unleashing computer viruses. Lyrics about erasing files and crashing hard disks set the tone, and the hordes of battle robots and deep space sci-fi battles are merely the sort of courtesy detail you wish would happen instead of your computer simply lurching to a halt. Damon Albarn guests, an experience which is said to have led to the formation of Gorillaz.
Best Listened To While: Plotting the collapse of civilisation — or at least the downfall of Outlook.
Balanescu Quartet: Computer Love
There are far too many excellent technology love songs from Kraftwerk to choose from, so here's a rather different take on one of the classics. Computer Love has the simple wistful lyricism that Kraftwerk tied so effectively to throbbing machinery, a lyricism that the Balanescu Quartet emphasise with flowing strings and a sense of space.We can forgive it the ignominy of having its riff stolen - sorry, used with permission - by Coldplay.
Best Listened To While: Deleting old emails from your ex and signing up to a raunchy singles site.
The Tornados: Telstar
The birth-song of a whole new technology, celebrating space in the service of mankind. Recorded in Holloway by Joe Meek, who subsequently killed himself and his landlady in pre-emptive shame at Telstar becoming Margaret Thatcher's favourite pop record. Although staunchly pre-digital, Meek had an abiding fascination with making technology do things it was never intended to do, giving his music a timeless feel. Fun Fact: the British and the French vied for the privilege of receiving the first transatlantic signals from Telstar, but as the Brits configured their antennas in exactly the opposite way to the rest of the world, the French got the pics.
Best Listened To While: Dusting your bakelite wireless and making 'beep beep' Sputnik noises under your breath.