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  • David

Techno Prisoners

Maybe I'm a bit odd, but when I design, I listen to techno. The harder the better. Dutch, German, Detroit, dystopian, filthy, bleepy, glitchy, industrial, you name it, I've damaged my hearing to it.

During my career I have always listened to music when I work but for me there's something about techno that opens up creative parts of my brain that often leads to better, more interesting work. I realise the idea of listening to a three hour set of improvised techno might be your idea of hell but for me, it works. One of the saddest parts for me personally (and selfishly) about the current Covid crisis is the impact it has had on the live music and club scene. In recent years, to the bafflement of my wife, myself and friends have gone to techno events big and small around the UK, as well as festivals in the Netherlands and Germany and more were in the pipeline. Nobody knows when events like those will return and you have to feel for the artists, promoters, crew and venues in the whole entertainment sector that looks likely to be the last to return to normality. Clubbers are desperate for it to return and while I don't condone the illegal raves that have been popping up all over Europe recently, I'm not surprised they have.

One tiny glimmer of hope on the horizon for those desperate for clubbing to return is the latest immersive exhibition at the Design Museum in London, titled Electronic: From Kraftwerk to The Chemical Brothers which charts the cultural impact dance music has had over the years. I cannot wait to go, and I'll update this page when I do and tell you what it was like. See promo video below.

Design Museum copy:

Evoking the experience of being in a club, the exhibition will transport you through the people, art, design, technology and photography that have been shaping the electronic music landscape.

Celebrate 50 years of legendary group Kraftwerk with their 3D show. Step into the visual world of The Chemical Brothers for one of their legendary live shows, as visuals and lights interact to create a new three-dimensional experience by Smith & Lyall.

Travel to dance floors from Detroit to Chicago, Paris, Berlin and the UK’s thriving scene; featuring over 400 objects and the likes of Detroit techno legends Kevin Saunderson, Juan Atkins, Jeff Mills and Richie Hawtin, "Godfather of House Music" Frankie Knuckles, Haçienda designer Ben Kelly and the extreme visual world created by Weirdcore for Aphex Twin’s ‘Collapse’.

Discover early pioneers Daphne Oram and the seminal BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Indulge your senses with large scale images of rave culture by Andreas Gursky, iconic DJ masks and fashion, a genre-spanning soundtrack by French DJ and producer Laurent Garnier, a sound reactive visual installation created specifically for the exhibition by 1024 architecture, graphics from Peter Saville CBE, history-making labels and club nights.



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