Coming Soon: John Foxx & The Maths – ‘The Machine’

❉ Brand new album by electro pioneer John Foxx and analogue synth specialist, Benge.

“I first read E.M. Forster’s The Machine Stops in 1964, when I was at school. It struck me then as prescient and original. When I started discussing the music for this production with Benge, I read it again. In the intervening years the internet had happened, and of course the world had changed dramatically, yet the story was still ahead of it all – an amazing feat of predictive imagination for something written in 1909. I’m quietly pleased to be able to collaborate with such an astounding piece of seminal sci-fi.” – John Foxx

Directed by York Theatre Royal’s Associate director Juliet Forster, Neil Duffield’s adaptation of E.M. Forster’s chilling short story The Machine Stops explores our increasingly intricate and complex relationship with technology.

In a dystopian world where humans have retreated far underground, a lone figure – Kuno  – questions their now total dependency on technology to live and communicate with each other, but in his struggle to break out can he reach the Earth’s surface before the Machine that runs their society finally stops . . . ?

British novelist, essayist, and social and literary critic E.M. Forster is best known for his exquisite novels of A Passage to India and Howard’s End which were both made into Oscar winning films, but his short story masterpiece published in 1909 is astoundingly prophetic and poignant in 2017, provided a chilling warning of the dangers of isolation, reliance on computer technology and the effects upon society. Many of the futuristic concepts have actually manifested in today’s society, including instant messages, televisual messages and the internet.

The acclaimed production, which opened in 2016 and toured again in 2017, features a specially composed soundtrack by John Foxx and The Maths – John Foxx and Benge. This forms much of the music on The Machine although there are new mixes and some extended material as the pair developed stage music into a fully fledged album.

Described as ‘eerie’, ‘evocative’ and ‘a triumphant score of chest-crushing anxiety’ by The Independent and The Guardian in their stage reviews, the music (created entirely on analogue synthesizers and drum machines) is some of the finest the pair have created yet, following a string of excellent vocal albums – Interplay (2011), The Shape Of Things (2012) and Evidence (2013).

The Machine will be released on LP, CD and digital download with superb artwork by Jonathan Barnbrook, who designs all of John Foxx And The Maths’ albums and whose credits include the design for David Bowie’s The Next Day and Blackstar.

John Foxx And The Maths have recorded new song-based material for an album due out in in autumn 2018.

❉ The Machine is released on 22 September 2017 by Metamatic Records (META62)

❉ In 1966, E.M. Forster’s 1909 short story The Machine Stops was dramatised by Kenneth Cavender and Clive Donner as the first episode of the second series of SF anthology series ‘Out of the Unknown’, broadcast on 6 October 1966 – one of the most peculiar pieces of television ever to go out under the BBC’s banner. Martin Ruddock writes about it here:

 News source: Random PR.

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