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Steve Hillage: And Not Or
Ex-Gong guitarist Steve Hillage is the epitome of the tech-obsessed hippy — he even recorded under the name of System 7, the Macintosh OS of the time. This song is named after BASIC Boolean operators, and comes from an album — For To Next — named after BASIC keywords. It contains, as far as we're aware, no actual reference to technology beyond a hint that Hillage tried his hand at writing a game of noughts and crosses in AppleBASIC.
Best Listened To While: Attempting to get 3G access on your solar-powered laptop from a field in Cornwall.
Johan Johannsson: IBM1401 A User's Manual
A real oddity, but one of considerable charm. The composer's father was maintenance engineer on Iceland's first computer, an IBM 1401 mainframe, in the mid-1960s, and he learned how to make the computer make music. As part of the computer's decommissioning in 1971 a last recording was made, and that's at the heart of this modern orchestral composition. Check the website for many more stories about this unique music.
Best Listened To While: Helping develop the IBM 1401 emulator software.
Much loved at ZDNet UK Towers, the gentle bearded baron of eight-bit showcases his work from Bletchley Park. Not only does the work include samples of sounds from a variety of vintage hardware, the very structure of the piece includes calculations made on the selfsame kit. Elsewhere, Mr h8 is busy writing music composition software and exploring the boundaries of what you can do with a dead Spectrum and a glint in your eye. Our kind of guy.
Best Listened To While: Fitting a new PP3 to your Sinclair Enterprise calculator.