Sputnik

Let’s Go < Sputnik > Skullcrusher

Listening to this I can easily visualise in my mind’s eye a spiky little Soviet sphere orbiting through the void in 1957; the first of its kind, and with the paranoid West tuning in with incredulity and fear on shortwave radio. At only 2 ½ minutes the track is short & sweet but dramatic nonetheless. The music fades in and fades out, like the satellite coming in & out of range; receiving, transmitting and reflecting discordant signals. These low register atmospheres and mid/high-range organ chords have a sinister melancholy about them, and their layering against a simple pulse beat is quite distinctive. Picture Rasputin as mad church organist at Baikonur Cosmodrome, with Yuri Gagarin on bongos…

…well I can…

Cutting through this brief encounter are two distinctive flourishes: one at about 1 ½ minutes, sounding like an atmospheric collision, and the second near the end – with 2 rapid synth scales signalling the satellite to be on its way.

Sputnik is a minimal & affecting instrumental – not the first and certainly not the last one that New Order produced (and indeed Electronic, who also flirted into Soviet territory on their debut album), and its a side to their output that remains a bit special. Perhaps there’s a whole sub-genre of music that remains to be fully explored: soundtracks for satellites. New Order’s Sputnik would be a great template.

Rating: xxxoo

Most recently available on: Salvation! (Original Soundtrack)

audio
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