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Attention inward, Escape, Excitement, Imagining, Soundtrack, Thinking in pictures

Cyberpunk Cheese and Virtual Worlds

'Industrial' by Amelia

‘Industrial’ by Amelia

I first put on my iPod before leaving the house … I was walking to the bus stop to take a route to the train station, from which I would take the train to London…. I was feeling excited  and had, for once, gotten a good night’s sleep so I wasn’t as tired as I was expecting to be.

Some good old-school Hanzel and Gretyl was in order as I had seemingly been pining for some good old fashioned cyberpunk cheese … the lyrics … seem to come from the world of a Galaxy Quest-esque science fiction parody. The 90s drum samples definitely help that atmosphere when you look at them a couple of decades on.

It helps that I am currently working on some Team Fortress 2 fan fiction, developing the idea of the in-game robots and the industrial rock seemed to fit quite well. I was drawn into a different world as soon as I left the house. Walking to the bus stop I thought about perhaps making the antagonist’s karmic demise a ‘bookend’: a shot to the head to mirror the first shot fired in the story … I often have trouble visualizing stories until I have a proper outline finished. it was a case of mentally talking to myself and debating over little details …I’m not really certain what was happening besides a constant flow of thoughts regarding the story. I think I began considering the opening and then suddenly had the inspiration to look at the ending from a completely different point of view. Generally I do not properly focus on the things around me unless there’s something ‘new’ about them, like a new building or a freshly-felled tree, but I was definitely walking to the beat of the music …

I am able to experience things and critically look at them in parallel, or alternatively in quick succession, alternating between the two within short intervals of about ten seconds. It also depends on whether a particular lyric or musical element draws me to one or the other, or whether I notice something that I can then mentally put into words as though I were writing a review. There is somehow much more groove and rhythmic complexity when it comes to their [H & G] first two albums – although perhaps to me their more general appeal is that at the time, they were doing something near unheard of in the 90s post-industrial subculture: not taking themselves seriously. I think that when listening to industrial and its direct successors, I pick up more on the subtleties of a band’s impact on the scene, perhaps simply because I have gathered more knowledge on the topic. … generally whenever I think about a song more ‘critically’, I will consider its place as an example of its genre.

I have also been toying with the idea of a satire on alternative subcultures where, for once, industrial fans or ‘rivetheads’ are the focus, so perhaps I am thinking more in the way of little details I can insert into that story. Creative writing is the only way I can do things. If I can’t think of something in terms of a story, a scene, or even a review, I struggle to connect with it. The former two are probably the reasons why I have so many concept albums on my iPod.

Even when changing routes I didn’t really feel connected to the real world – I never really do.

I was aware of the things around me and I was looking out of the window, but I wasn’t really taking anything in since I was thinking about how the music connected to everything I’ve mentioned …essentially I felt like an external observer. I would perhaps take an earphone out when purchasing each ticket, but besides that I spoke to no one for practically the whole journey… I suppose I use more ‘action-packed’ genres as a form of escapism and inspiration. But I don’t really see things differently; I just think and feel in a different way, only pausing my ‘fictional’ train of thought to do something required in the real world. I can be quite volatile if someone tries to speak to me when I am deeply concentrated on the music.

I finished my current collection of Hanzel und Gretyl just in time to finish my coffee at the station, and I turned my iPod off before boarding the train, already thinking about what to listen to next …

Amelia, aged 15. Listen to Hanzel and Gretyl ‘Robot Logik’




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