Iconic electronic pioneers 808 State have curated a stellar bluedot inspired playlist, complete with an abundance of space-themed tracks. Catch them on our Orbit Stage Saturday 20 July.
Russian Satellite – Mighty Sparrow
In the tradition of Calypso news delivery Mighty Sparrow is telling us about Laika the first dog in space aboard Sputnik 2 in November 1957. Sparrow is not happy about it.
Orbit Around The Moon – Joe Meek
Jodrell Bank was put into service tracking this, being the only steerable radio telescope on earth at the time. My first memory of space music was “Telstar” the number one hit by producer Joe Meek and his boys “The Tornados”. Named in in tribute to Americas first communications satellite .“Trip Around The Moon “is from another of Joe Meek’s productions ,a stereo demonstration record called” I Hear A New World” recorded in 1960 - Taking us to the Moon way before Apollo was put on the table.
Pulsars (Deep Ocean Basin to Jodrell Bank) – Massonix
Pulsars is a track that I made in 1996 when I got involved with a Jodrell Bank related project organised by Brian Cox and involving a music concert at UMIST to recruit interest from 6 th formers looking at Universities, The concert featured Sir Patrick Moore on his Xylophone and a performance this piece“Pulsars” that I made in a sampler from pulsar radio signals collected by the Lovell Telescope. As a treat I got to go up into the dish while D Ream were filming a video in it.
Time We Left This World Today – Hawkwind
My personal teenage space race continued as Apollo 17 left the Moon in the early 70s. My first trip into space being a Hawkwind gig at the Palace Theatre in Manchester. Atonal, extremely loud with whooshing white noise, Lemmy on Bass, Honking electric sax, Stacia dancing in a puddle of day glow paint plus Liquid Len and his Lensmen I signed up immediately. My careers teacher was not convinced this was a good path, but I proved her wrong!
Pacific Dawn – Tom Dissavelt
Tom Dissavelt was early electronic music pioneer from Holland. The BBC had the Radiophonic Workshop and Philips the Dutch Electrical company also had a sound lab that predated that by quite a few years .It produced a number of space themed albums such as “Fantasy In Orbit” 1963 cashing in on Space fever during the early Mercury ,Gemini & Soyuz missions .It has aged remarkably well.
Trip To The Moon – Alex North
This was part of the original unused score to Stanley Kubrick’s 2001 A Space Odyssey. In 2014 I was lucky to be involved with another project at Jodrell Bank. A film called Jodrell Bank Calling by Soup Collective for the AND festival. The film involved use of some of 2001 with permission from the Kubrick estate plus interviews about Kubrick's research trips to the site and the history of the Lovell Telescope. This was then video mapped to the dish of the telescope and I provided the musical score from which comes the next track.
Neptune (featuring Seaming To) – Massonix
A Moog/vocal interpretation of Holst’s “Neptune” in more of a tip of the hat to Tomita featuring vocalist Seaming To.
Walking On The Moon – Sun Ra
Sun Ra was way ahead of the space race having arrived from Saturn in 1914. Talks with cosmic authority on all planets and their satellites. Surprised that he would not have visited Jodrell Bank when he landed at the RNCM Manchester in 1982.
Moon Moods – Les Baxter
Sun Ra took some musical cues from the great Les Baxter who had also been to the Moon as early as 1947 with his theremin powered mini album “Music Out Of The Moon" the original lunar concept album. Neal Armstrong was into it and took it on cassette on Apollo 11.
Suite Fantastique: I.Fata Morgana – Cyril Scott
Mike Collins the Command Module Pilot on Apollo 11 had “Symphony Fantastique” on his lonely passes around the dark side. That was by Berlioz, I prefer Suite Fantastique by a composer from Knutsford called Cyril Scott. Astroheads of Cheshire rise up!