Here lies the second installment of an occasional series, where we ponder what happens when evolution slips on some black ice, and ends travelling the wrong way on a desolate B-road. Last time we pondered the what-ifs and wherefores of art produced by lifeforms developed in atmospheres different to our own. This time our curiosity gets the better of us and we recklessly alter the course of our own evolution, deliberately dropping a chewing gum wrapper in 10,000 BC to see if we return to a modern world populated by a race of Carnivorous Gumbii, like the eon-hopping cultural tourists that we are. Man is But a Worm. Let’s make some soil.
The first time was an accident. No-one really seemed to notice. Well they wouldn’t, they don’t have any memory of the timeline we just bodged. No memory of a world where the phone boxes red red instead of yellow, where humans beings typed on their keypads fingers attached to hands of approximately 189mm in length, accompanied by 9 others. They don’t remember the way they used to talk, the way words used to sound, thei simplee dunt reemehba.
But we do. And as this Spot the Difference puzzle slowly unravels, we realise, something is most definitely afoot. It wasn’t until we went to our local HMV that we knew we had fouled up for sure. Upon our request for the new Pixie Lott album we were greeted with the kind of look of a zombie on a gameshow who was just asked what the capital of Hungary is. Pretty much the usual reaction from a record shop assistant, but she points to a board on a wall with her conspicuously longer than usual (around 7mm) index finger, and gurgles ‘wee unlee cell thur tohp tehn re-kordz in he-r, taik a looch’.
We take a look. This is not the same top ten we saw before our little inter-rail trip through prehistory.
At number 1 is Stockhausen’s ‘Kontakte’ which according to the shop assistant is the ‘behst celling re-kord uf al thyme’. At number 2 is ‘Silver Apples’ S/T. We ask her what happened to ‘Thriller?’ or ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ and she stares at us as if we are some kind of temporal beings who cannot be detected by the limited apparatus of the human mind.
They were never made.
At number 8 in the chart is Research Laboratory of Electronic Progress, who offer us a parallel take on this timeline’s sonic librarians of the 70s. Coming like a remorselessly lo-fi Advisory Circle, RLoEP hit our KPM fetish button hard. Did you ever have that feeling that you heard and advert for a car that was never invented, filed into an archive that never existed?. Good things are coming to Edinburgh. Look here for the above 7′ inch.
But what had we done to create this fantastic new world? No-one brought anything back from the past, we sat on no grasshoppers and trod not in any Brontosaurus pap. But there was that one time we went to the Neolithic age and lost our ipod. Surely not?
Hmmm, what if we were to go back again and leave our entire Chicago House vinyl collection and some 1210s there too. What would music sound like when we came back?
If Mr Fingers had been born in our tampered-with time-line then we hope that he would have come up with something like ‘Scream in the Night’. Where ancient collective memories of the drifting planes facing an approaching ice age are evoked, where shadows of the Hieroglyphic Being cast themselves across a terrain that will soon be too barren to support life, packs of still-feral humaniods hunt each other in the encroaching mist. 2 Dogs in a House’s awesome ‘Dog House EP’ is coming very soon on new New York label L.I.E.S. and contains members of projects you may have seen in these pages before.
NOTE TO BLN READERS: Tonight sees the inevitable and unholy union of our 2 Berlin correspondents – Our very own Genuine Guy shall be playing some records at the Tausendisco of beloved Hugo Capablanca and any readers who live in the Hauptstadt are cordially invited….