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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.
Cabaret Voltaire: Data Processing Instructions
Ah, the Cabs. The typical band everyone's heard of but nobody's heard. When you're bringing Dada, industrial, techno, dub and experimental electronics to the party, it's not surprising that you rarely bother the radio or the "I Remember The 80s" clip shows. This track is as typical as any — which is to say, not typical at all: a melange of grunty noise and electronic pain. But then, isn't that a very real part of the IT experience?
Best Listened To While: Confronting the Blue Screen Of Death.
Wire: Dot Dash
Wire's paean to Morse code, the first digital communications medium and still an icon of technological progress. Wire themselves are named after one of the principal unsung foundations of IT — even wireless routers are crammed full of the stuff. Fittingly, Morse is a trinary, rather than a binary, code: Wire were never fond of the obvious.
Best Listened To While: Painstakingly writing a ransom note in twenty different fonts in Ventura Publisher on your ST.