The Prisoners of Technology - The Trick of Technology (Time To Work Mix) (Fresh Kutt, 1997)
An article in today's Guardian about how the bright screens of laptops, tablets and smartphones can cause sleep deprivation reminded me of this wicked jump-up tune from The Prisoners of Technology. It features a sample of Henry Rollins' character Spider in Johnny Mnemonic ranting about humanity's addiction to technology:
"Information overload! All the electronics around you poisoning the airwaves. Technological fucking civilization. But we still have all this shit, because we can't live without it. Let me do my work..." (check it in its original context here)
The film is based on a short story by William Gibson, who also wrote the screenplay. It's set in 2021 when the entire world is connected to a gigantic internet. The quote above is referring to Nerve Attenuation Syndrome, a fictional disease also known as "the black shakes" which is caused by overexposure to the electromagnetic radiation given off by technology. Gibson's work has proved particularly prescient (he coined the term "cyperspace" in 1982) and the findings in the Guardian article reflect the negative effects of technology on our health that Gibson covered in this film.
This track was released on The Prisoners of Technology's own Fresh Kutt label and was the first 12" I bought by the trio of TMS-1, DJ Magic and K.Dub. It's an incredibly energetic track that rattles along at a fearsome pace with an electro style bassline that regularly changes pattern. The "I'm engaged in experimental work" vocal in the intro is from another movie entitled The Devil Commands which was sampled more extensively in the original mix of the track which you can listen to here. The central "Trick of Technology" line is taken from a verse by Hakim of Channel Live on 'Free Mumia' by KRS-One, who discovered the duo. Along with their remix of 'Intergalactic' this is one of The Prisoners of Technology's finest moments.
You can hear 'The Trick of Technology (Time To Work Mix)' as well as many others by the trio in the awesome mix below from DJ Jamie of Section 23: