Saturday, 28 February 2015

The Other Side

I have been (impatiently) waiting for the release of Public Service Broadcasting's latest offering ever since I heard the excellent 'Gagarin' and learned that the next album would be a concept based around the Superpowers' race for space in the 60s and 70s. I was expecting tales straight out of the library text books of my childhood, and I wasn't disappointed - Sputnik, Yuri Gagarin, Apollo 11 all feature - but the track that has taken my imagination, emotion and breath away is 'The Other Side'.

It describes the moments on Christmas Eve 1968 when the astronauts of Apollo 8 became the first humans to orbit the moon and therefore see the dark side. The point at which the craft disappears into radio silence as it traverses the other side is very powerful and second only to the euphoria of the re-emergence 45 minutes later.

Whether you like electronic music or not, this is the most powerful and emotive thing I've heard in a long while. Have a listen to it. Wear headphones, close your eyes and imagine you are there, at the vanguard of human endeavour. Imagine what's going through the minds of the astronauts and the controller on the ground in Huston, who narrates the events as they unfold.

Top stuff, Public Service Broadcasting, top stuff.

1 comment:

Chris Phillips said...

Thanks very much for this. My journey to work yesterday was thoroughly pleasant, despite the traffic queues, thanks to the album. I love concept albums, and this is an outstanding example. Despite Spotify, I feel the need to pay for a copy of this. This is exactly the kind of album I strive to find.

One of the albums I listened to many times as a child was Jean Michel Jarre - Equinoxe
and thus put me in mind of that in places. I know this might not be a cool admission, and please don't let it put anyone off.