Pulp Pop 011 – The Race For Space
In this episode, Trent talks about Public Service Broadcasting’s 2015 album “The Race For Space.”
Go! – Public Service Broadcasting from PSBHQ on Vimeo.
Go! is the second single to be taken from Public Service Broadcasting’s new album The Race For Space.
Directed by Lucy Dawkins and Tom Readdy. Produced by Yes Please! Productions.
Thanks to the NASA Audio & Multimedia Collections and Colin Mackellar at honeysucklecreek.net for the material used in this video.
Public Service Broadcasting unveil the video for the first single from their upcoming second album, ‘The Race For Space’. A brassy, funk-heavy superhero theme song for the most famous man in the world at the time, ‘Gagarin’ reveals a new side to the band – not least their considerable dancing skills.
Once again given access to newly acquired BFI footage, this time of the Soviet space race, PSB’s J. Willgoose, Esq. explained the rationale behind the song: “We didn’t want to be too literal in our interpretation of the material we were given – material that was full of heroic language and a sense of exuberance, with lines like ‘the hero who blazed the trail to the stars’, and ‘the whole world knew him and loved him’. It seemed more appropriate to try and re-create some of that triumphant air with a similarly upbeat song – and when it came to creating the video, the best way we could think of to communicate that sense of joy was to get our dancing shoes on.”
Contains footage from ‘Voyage to the Stars’, ’10 Years In Space’, ‘Man Remains on Earth’, ‘Man Returns from Space’ & ‘Red Moon’, all BFI National Archive and used with kind permission
Director: Alex Kemp
Choreographer: Kieran Donovan
Producer: Tony Powell
Assistant Producer: Vijay Sisodia
Director of Photography: Dominic Bartels
Editor: Lucy Badger
Grade: Joe Bicknell
Sound Designer: Adam Smyth
Production Designer: Amy Cooper Goodrich
Camera Assist: Chris Starkey
Steadicam: Jon Moy
Projections: Gerred Blyth
Graphic Designer: Leo Williamson
Costume: Jenny Schwarz
Commissioned with help of our friends at Radar Music Videos
This episode was sponsored by twitter users Mayor of beer town and Miranda Janelle. Follow them, and tell them thanks for this episode. Additionally if you enjoy what you ear on this episode of Pulp Pop, please checkout our website, because we’ve got it packed with a lot more great content. So, here it is.
I’m Trent Hunsaker, and this is Pulp Pop.
“Space is there, and we’re going to climb it. And the moon and the planets are there, and new hopes for knowledge and peace are there.”
Sometimes a piece of culture is able to extol a moment in history with such power, with such intensity and excitement, that a pleat is made, bridging the distance between history and artifact.
Public Service Broadcasting’s 2015 album, “The Race for Space,” is a rose-colored looking glass that allows generations alien to the actual Space Race, a chance to catch the excitement and wonder that affected those who were originally a part of it.
Public Service Broadcasting is the musical and art performance duo consiting of london-based J. Willgoose, Esquire (The most British name ever), and Wrigglesworth… (or is that even more British). Theirs is a quest to inform, educate and entertain. And they are really good at doing just that, through instrumental music married with samples from historical-archive footage and audio.
The album is a highlight reel of the competition between the Soviet Union and United States to conquer space, from 1957 to 1972, from Sputnik 1 to Apollo 17.
The duo’s synthe-heavy music and danceable tempos lend perfectly to samples of the Space Race: beit samples of the telemetry signal from Sputnik, or the launch sequences of Apollo 11.
Willgoose explains, “We’re about using the technology of the day to take stuff from the past and recontextualise it in the present, rather than being some kind of retro-throwback to some bygone age…”
For those like me, who sat through educational film-strips in school, it might seem difficult to empathize with Apollo 8’s mission control; I mean, we first saw a moon orbit with the beep of the cassette tape and the click of the next slide. But through their track “The Other Side”, public service brodcasting transports you into what must have been a nervous, hushed room, waiting, hoping to hear from Apollo 8 as it rounded the moon in partial radio silence.
However, they are also able to capture the feeling of what it must have been like to be cosmonaut Yuri Gargin, not as the first man journeying into outerspace, but as Gargin, the soviet equivalent to international celebrity or rockstar.
While none of the Album’s tracks touch on the Cold War fueling these launches into the unknown, these retrospective tributes aren’t all danceable party anthems. “Fire in the Cockpit” is a heavy bead of static, synthe and strings which conveys the gravity of the Apollo 1 disaster, which claimed the lives of astronauts Virgil I. “Gus” Grissom, Edward H. White, and Roger Chaffee.
Public Service Broadcasting lets the men and women who were in this great race for the stars tell their stories. The excitement, the fear, the humanity of these voices are what truly fills the gap of time that separates now from them. Because even though we have been to the moon, we, humanity still choose to take on challenges and difficult goals “not because they are easy, but because they are hard.”
All Right, That’s it.