Radio Quarantine -Ocular Bats – The Terrible Dictator Dr. Schmackenberg vs. Cerberex, The Mad Brain (2020)

To be perfectly honest, this one by OCULAR BATS was making into this space by the twin virtues of the title and the cover art, no matter what it sounded like. It could have been the most desperately awful racket ever recorded (it’s not!) and it was making it Radio Quarantine. End of story. In actuality, it’s kind of a masterpiece. Other electronic acts have composed these semi-futuristic, dystopian, ambient, soundtrack-ish pieces. This isn’t really breaking new ground in style, not by any means. Ocular Bats has just done it exceptionally well. It’s also best played on any system that can express the hugeness and the weight of the music. I’m listening to it now through the MacBook speakers and it’s still great, but not as impressive as when played through the little Marshall Tufton bluetooth speaker, which puts out an awful lot of bass ambience for an amplified speaker about the size of a cinderblock. It still stands though. I guess this amounts to what I would call a rave. I’m loving this. I’d also love to know who did the artwork!

Another week down though in Radio Quarantine headquarters here in Brooklyn. Today is the first day of Spring and we’re well into the second half of March. It doesn’t escape me that it seems like yesterday I was carrying on about how January and February had disappeared in a blink. I’ve yet to find the device to slow the flow of time. Last March felt like a full year. This March to date is gushing and flushing away. It’s scary. What’s happening with time? If there was a way to go back… and this is funny… if there was a way to go back there is no period in my life that I would travel back to and re-do, except for maybe the last six months. Going back any more seems pointless. I may end up making bigger mistakes than the first run-through. The last six months though were so uneventful that there wouldn’t be a lot for me to fuck up. I won’t even speak for anyone else. Plenty has happened out in the world that, as awful as it was, still could have been much worse. We dodged a bullet on a lot of it. There has been no eruption of widespread civil war yet, and I’m convinced it will probably still happen, if not in any organized form, but it hasn’t yet.

I keep thinking about January 6th in Washington DC. It’s only by chance that none of our lawmakers on Capitol Hill were killed. Had that happened I suspect things would be a lot more heated. The problem is that not enough people see it as only a stroke of luck that it wasn’t worse. People still can’t seem to wrap their heads around just how bad it could have been. What if the mob had grabbed one of the politicians that they’d so vilified? They were out of control and at many points during the day really beyond any rational though. Things would be a lot uglier today than they are.

As for me though, I wouldn’t mind a do-over. I’ve discussed this before though. There are no do-overs in real life. It’s not a sandlot afternoon football game. Nobody is going to scream INTERFERENCE THE TREE GOT IN THE WAY and call the play back.

Time is a strange creature. It feels like a wormhole in the continuum opened up at some point last year and I re-emerged in March of the following year 10 pounds heavier and 20 IQ points lower. I need to slow down this time travel, but… but…

Anyway, I’m loving the robots descending on the city. It’s that 50s and 60s style comic book image of the future. It recalls that time when we’d grown bored with the Cold War and fear of the Soviet Union and we’d looked beyond to greater existential threats. We still hadn’t sussed that the greatest threat to mankind is mankind itself, but of course someone built those robots, or at least built robots that could build more robots, a la Terminator. Maybe we’ll actually do that someday and if we do, then we deserve what we get.

Robots… it bears repeating, if how we treat each other is any indicator, then we will never move beyond our current approach to AI and robotics and androids. Our first priority will be to build an inorganic race that we can enslave, fuck or weaponize… or all three.

Cheery thoughts for the first day of spring.


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