As Newcleus enters the world in 1984, it seems as if they’re hostile to technology while depending on it for the production of their music. From a galaxy where “music and dancing are against all cosmic and computer law,” they discover a “place where they could be themselves: a place like Earth.” The simile is where it’s at: to be one’s self is to inhabit a not-Earth which is apprehended through a (receding) earthly experience. Against dominative “programmed” rationality, then, is the trax’s primary position. (Secondarily, there’s a concern that computers are taking the place of the “Lord” in our lives; this probably should be bracketed for now, since such “programs” are virtually indistinguishable.) Losing the ability to “program my machine” is the first step in losing a form of control over one’s life. And it’s this point that reveals one of the trax’s most promising aims. Much like Detroit Techno’s repurposing of pre-configured hardware and software, we’re at the precipice of an alternate practice: deprogramming traditional notions of programming by a continuing commitment to reprogramming. In contemporary parlance: jailbreaking the “walled garden” brick by strategic brick.
“Computer Age (Push the Button)” (Newcleus)