In a parallel existence the demented magus that wheels and swoops at the back of the stage as part of 3D goes it alone with a compelling electronic travelogue.
Electronic music is all about how it makes you feel. Aphex Twin may terrify you. Alison Goldfrapp may eroticise you. BAITS takes the listener for a drive to places uncharted and uncared for save for those who know to how to listen. It draws back the curtain and shows us the landscape, the objects of a failed modernism. It alone is equipped to tell this story. The destinations will differ from person to person. I ended up drinking Polish lager watching the sun come up over the River Medway. This is how I got there. This is how I felt.
Picking up speed leaving the suburbs on the “A13 Dual CarriageWAVE“, overtaking at will, roundly ignoring Billy Bragg stood by the off ramp to the docks. Passing a spew of IKEA modernist boxes containing replicas of themselves. They are reproducing at an astounding rate. There seem to be more cars than there used to be, don’t you think? Cell culture for the masses, and they mean to have us all, by one means or another. “I’m going to stand my ground.”
A call to arms to those who have seen the joke and aren’t laughing. “Austerity bites but not for them”. The collective voice pierces the wave of dread and interrogates what it leaves after it crashes. The stubborn king may win this time. It has been like this before “In cities I have known“. I am not the only one who is lost, I can find others by scrying the bus shelters for more survivors. I climb the pylons and to hear them tapping on the wires awaiting my response.
The tongues of the ghosts in the voids speak to the lyric. Even if our minds become superseded we remain the heat in the machine. “I fear the destination” but I miss them all. I must go to find them.
The wall is now only a memory canvas photo opportunity, but there remains “Death in Berlin“. If Deighton evoked the funeral, Clarke has conjured the necessary death as a cover for the meet. “Checking the list again”? Who’s list? Who’s name is on it? It could be mine. I am shaking out the squats Palmer style. It’s shake or be shaken. They all look alike from the street, “All is grey…”
Boot steps propel the narrative geist through a sensory feasting at the wake. Tearing the cooked grey meat “battered in neon” from the city streets to read for a future in the in the bones. “Is a change coming?” Can you feel it? High on background particulates. “You should see the view from up here”.
I can see clear across the estuary, souped up in the thermals, floating to the surface to form words. “Basildon” flickers in the distance, reporting to the territories. The theme from (for?) Fame hides in the grooves. Toned out kids go out into the precinct and walk the walk, while inside they are doing a full on production. No neck E numbers stop their cabs and join with the carnival, beating a concrete rhythm on their bonnets. This is the sound you can here in the badlands if you listen.
Far beneath my feet I feel the crunch of broken glass as I land forbidden, no lid, no steel, invisible, to ponder a future that was cancelled. Don’t worry they say, another will be along in a minute. All “Factories” will one day be “Abandoned“. They will stand to remind us that there was once an alternative. Old teeth still bite even though they cause us pain. This site is not a playground.
This is the end for me, I can go no further. The rest is up to you. It is “Medway City” and the time is “5am“. The grillid chirrup of forgotten security systems call the Esperanto congregation from their stations. Marching into a sunrise decorated with kestrels patrolling the rock field for stragglers.
These factories are not yet abandoned. “Lonely concrete, lonely sky” Lonely toshers inhale for the last time before entering the gates of the uncity to inspect what it has left for them today. I cannot go with them. My song is ended. I am drinking in the dawn. This is where I’ve been. This is how I feel.