Monarchy’s Black the Color of My Heart is probably one of the most beautiful songs that I’ve heard in the past while.
The lyrics are of the epic variety, but can still evoke a ton of feeling, and that drum sounds like a heartbeat throughout the song. Its the kind of stuff you can read sci-fi to on a cold day, dance to as you smile at your girl in the club or catch yourself trying to sing along to as you walk down the street.
They’ve definitely got a sound that’s like the best of The Golden Filter and Empire of the Sun: spacey and futuristic, but with enough warmth to remind you that you’re still human.
I don’t have a lot more information Monarchy, but The Golden Filter’s new album is available for order, and if you buy the CD or vinyl you have a chance of getting a personalized Polaroid photo from the band.
Check out Falco’s website for more, and let me know if you think Bubblegum Sci Fi got their name from The Bubblegum Crisis. Either way, I totally think The Knight Sabers would be an equally bad-ass band or DJ name.
Oh man - I just finished reading Alfred Bester’s The Stars My Destination and it is intense. The book was written in 1956, but is decades ahead of its time and reads like an ultra-violent modern thriller. It keeps up a frantic pace for all 300 pages, and you’re never sure if you should be sympathizing with the main character and cheering him on in his quest for justice or hating him for the atrocities he commits.
If you get a chance, pick this book up. I mean, just look at the main characters in the book:
Gulliver “Gully” Foyle - the almost-unlikable protagonist. He survives months shipwrecked in deep space, has his face tattooed with tiger stripes and the word “Nomad” and spends the entire book on a murderous quest for revenge against those he feels have wronged him.
Sol Dagenham - The fast-talking head of an interstellar courier organization/private detective agency, a war-time accident left him so radioactive that he isn’t legally allowed to be in the same room as anyone for more than 30 minutes.
Olivia Presteign - Heiress to the Presteign fortune, albino and able to see only in the infrared spectrum. Gully’s hidden tattoos are visible to her, as are the warring ships in orbit around earth.
Jiz McQueen - The unfortunately-named beauty that helps Gully escape from a prison deep within the mountains of France, she seems more of a throw-away character
Robin Wednesbury - A broadcast-only telepath who promises to help Gully in his quest for revenge only so she can find out what happened to her own missing family.
Y’ang-Yeovil - Master of disguise, Asian stereotype and a big shot in the earth’s intelligence agency, he is tasked with putting a stop to Gully’s rampage.
Add to this zany cast of characters the fact that everyone in this future is able to teleport at will distances of about 15 kilometers (they call it “Jaunting”), and you’ve got one hell of a piece of science-fiction.
Try and not think too hard about it while you listen to Owl Vision’s Fields of Corpses - its a track as angry and intense as Gully Foyle. I don’t much about Die Antwoord, but I’m throwing another of their tracks up here because Ninja is at least as driven and tattooed as Gully.
In the comment section of io9 a few months ago, someone suggested that t-shirts be made depicting a quote attributed to George Orwell:
“Back in the 1900s, it was a wonderful experience for a boy to discover H.G. Wells. There you were, in a world of pedants, clergymen and golfers…and here was this wonderful man who could tell you about the inhabitants of the sea, and who knew that the future was not going to be what respectable people imagined.“
Its a wonderful quote, and I completely agree with the commenter that shirts should be made, so I’m offering my design above, paraphrased from that quote (clicking on the image will give you the layered, PSD file should you wish to use it - I can’t remember where I got the template).
I’m certainly not a graphic designer, so if you make your own version, let me know in the comments or via email. It’ll probably be better than what I’ve come up with.
Keep the sci-fi dream alive, my friends…and while you’re at it, grok these future tracks:
Phase02 is one of those blogs that is the perfect mixture of design and music - you can tell that they’ve put some serious thought into the way they want the blog to look and how it fits with the sound they’re sharing.
They recently posted this track by RSD and I knew I just had to listen to it. I mean, the title of the track is “Naked Mario Kart.”
I love Mario Kart. I’m pretty sure that the original Mario Kart is one of the most perfect video games ever. Like chess, it is easy to learn the rules but you can spend a lifetime mastering it. When I lived in Japan, my roommate Ian and I would spend hours playing Kart. We’d enter a kind of zen-like trance, and stay up all night dodging red shells and sniping green shells.
That’s why I was slightly disappointed that the track “Naked Mario Kart’ wasn’t really about Mario Kart. I mean, one of the sounds might be sampled from it but that’s it. The good news is that it’s really got that etheral, spacey feel that I’ve been digging lately.
Someone also dropped me this Peo De Pitte rework of Telepopmusik’s Breathe, and its also worth a listen. Let them be the soundtrack to your Sunday evening.
Between this post and the earlier one with the Starfox image you’re probably thinking I’m getting nostalgic for the SNES days of yore (the Starfox battle mode being great, but nowhere near as good as classic Kart).
You’re right, but its not a new thing. I’m sure one small part of my mind is always thinking about Super Mario Kart.
I haven’t seen it, but I’m pretty sure 1980’s GALAXINA is probably the most perfect movie in the world. Produced by Playboy, it stars the 1980 Playmate of the year Dorothy Stratten as a “voluptuous android who finds herself alone for many years, developing emotions and falling in love with the ship’s pilot as he and the other crew sleep the years away” after they’ve been placed in suspended animation (Parts of this actually sound suspiciously similar to Alastair Reynolds epic book House of Suns).
The tag line on the movie poster (via) is “IN THE 31st CENTURY MAN FINALLY CREATED A MACHINE…With Feelings” and its going on my must-watch list.
Speaking of machines with feelings, you can’t go wrong with remixes of Florence + the Machine’s You’ve Got The Love. I wrote about the XX remix of that track a little while ago (damn, I love golden robots), and I was glad to hear Adam Smith’s take on it.
The Secret Galaxies remix comes courtesy of T-dot ballers Borracho, who were kind enough to post it on their Myspace page. Its a little more mellow than some of their other stuff, and I definitely like it.
You can’t go wrong with a little Ellie Goulding, and when the theme of the day seems to be galaxies and robots what better than a space-disco track about getting starry-eyed (I’m just going to assume she’s singing about looking at the stars and dreaming about space). These Monarchy cats have done some other mixes, and I dig that they called this one the Horses Head Nebular remix.
Anyways, if you’re in a galactic mood, give ‘em a listen:
Florence + The Machine - You’ve Got The Love (Adam Smith Remix)
Cavaliers of Fun - Secret Galaxies (Borracho! Remix) (via Borracho!’s MysSpace)
A little while ago, XLR8R put together a nice little mix-file of electronica to get you in the mood for Caprica, the Battlestar Galactica prequel. I haven’t seen any episodes of Caprica yet, but I liked enough of Battlestar that I think I could probably get into this new series.
The XLR8R album is a little more mellow than my usual tastes, but there is some still some good stuff on it and I like their thinking.
I have no idea what to think about Die Antwoord - they’ve got samurai swords and ninjas (I mean, the front man’s name is Ninja!), breathy female vocals and amazing electro beats. But there’s something about them that just doesn’t seem right, and I think that’s part of the appeal - you just don’t know what is really going on. Even their website makes it hard to find out more.
Ninja reminds me of a skinny white guy I used to work construction with who had tattooed the words “Thug Life” and a dragon ripping through his flesh on his chest all by himself. The style was exactly like Ninja’s - a little shaky, and you’re glad he didn’t go for anything more complicated.
But listening to the Die Antwoord’s music and watching their videos, you should be glad he did go for Yo-Landi Vi$$er. Wikipedia says they’re married, but Wikipedia could say anything and who cares as long as she keeps balancing Ninja’s hard raps.
Rounding out the trio is DJ HI-Tek, his hat is awesome.
I don’t really know what role Leon Botha plays in the band beyond artistic support, but he’s one of the elements of Die Antwoord that you leave you with more questions than answers, and affirms the fact that their style is “UFO.”
Ryan from Pitchfork Tweeted that “DieAntwoord.com just made 2010 official. I think BoingBoing called it a memesplosion and I think you’ll be hearing a lot of them over the next few weeks. After that? Who knows.
Maybe its the cold weather (or maybe its because I’ve been using those Bose noise-canceling headphones instead of iPod ear buds) but I’ve really been digging that spacey electro sound these days.
Also - did you know that 2009 was the International Year of Astronomy? I only found that out the other day via post about Simon Page’s Astronomy posters on Sci-Fi-O-Rama. I guess that makes Twenty-Ten the Year After The Year of Astronomy.
Anyways, The Diogenes Club dropped me some of their tracks via email a week about, and while I don’t like all of them “Tie Ourselves Around” has sound I like. You can listen to a few of their other tracks here.
And Kenji Kawai? That’s some good scene-stealing background music.
Remember The Infinity Gauntlet? What a seriously epic comic series. I mean, you’ve got Thanos so in love with the personification of Death that he wipes out half the universe with using the Infinity Gauntlet, a huge glove with with gems that give him power over the different aspects of the universe: Time, Space, Mind, Soul, Reality and Power. Looking at the picture above, I probably couldn’t tell you which gem gave which power.
I feel like one of the big yellows ones is probably “Power” though, and they’re all way better than the Captain Planet power rings.
If Thanos gave Death a USB key with his favorite songs on it, I feel like these would be included: