Cosmic Siren

I prefer the back with the triumphant statues

Back cover of said album.

I’ve got the ancient hard-drive-based iPod on shuffle, and it just played Space is Deep by veteran cosmic travellers Hawkwind, off their 1972 album Doremi Fasol Latido. It reminded me of my brother’s early efforts in circuit bending.

Circuit bending” is the practise of taking a piece of electronics capable of making a sound, and then messing with it so it makes a different sound. Some may say the new sound is a hideous cacophony. I say no.

The opening of the song has some spacey babbling synths over the gentle acoustic guitars. When I was a kid, I had a toy “laser gun”, which lit up and made a noise when you pulled the trigger. The noise could be changed by twisting a knob on the side, and Si noticed that you could make the noise sound quite a lot like the early synths on the record. Literally minutes of fun ensued.

OK, not really much circuit bending – but it is amazing to think that some crazy huge modular synth used by the band in 1972 could be reasonably emulated by a plastic toy less than ten years later. Almost wish I still had it. There’s probably an app.

While we’re talking about cosmic stuff and comic-book imagery, I’m going along to the io9.com meetup at San Francisco’s Borderlands bookstore and cafe this evening. Should be fun. I shall report.