Motorway: Vinyl LP


Sorry Sold out

"Growing up as a kid in 70’s London, I once unearthed an early 60’s proto plastic toy motorway playset at a suburban jumble sale. The cars themselves were missing, but that did not matter. I instantly wanted the set. The road sections which slotted together to form a figure of 8, were bitumen-black and basic. Devoid of decals, signposts or any sort of detail at all, in many ways the assembled track resembled a satisfyingly minimal, mobius strip sculpture. But it was the evocative box artwork I loved the most. An illustration reminiscent of the bright, futuristic world portrayed in the ladybird books of the time showed a broad 4-lane blacktop with a series of identical untarnished cast concrete overpasses cutting through the rolling green landscape. Down the left-hand side of the box in bright yellow - the single word Motorway in block capitals. The box art spoke of unknown journeys, of the safe efficient expediency and hypnotic, repetitive sights and sounds of the major arterial road.

The playset artwork must have resonated deeply as the same sensations unexpectedly resurfaced a decade or so later when I first encountered Kraftwerk’s seminal Gesamtkunstwerk ‘Autobahn’. Both the artwork and the recording are perfect of course and need no further discussion here. The record oozes what seemed unattainable and romantic; a vision of far-off European cities defining the future through design and speed.

A third epiphany occurred reading J.G. Ballard’s classic novel ‘Concrete Island’; in which a blown tyre sends architect Robert Maitland’s Jaguar plunging down an embankment, ending up on a patch of wasteland hemmed in by three roads. Injured and dazed, Maitland is stranded, unable to attract the attention of drivers above, unable to find a way out. Through Ballard’s words, I came to understand that there were similarities in the uncanny disconnect these non-places evoke the world over: Motorways are spaces we know intimately but will also never set foot on. The ‘no-man’s land’ we see between motorway lanes and intersections are familiar, but unreachable. We pass them regularly, but do not notice them in detail.

Crashing onto the island, Maitland becomes a ‘no-man’; he enters a void and becomes invisible himself.

I wanted to make a record which somehow brought together and reflected these influences and the feelings they evoke in me. And which paid unabashed homage to the sources. This record Motorway is it. I hope you enjoy the journey."

Vinyl LP
Castles in Space