Bruce Haack – Listen Compute Rock Home: The Best of Dimension 5 [Emperor Norton, 1999]

Bruce Haack - Listen Compute Rock Home: The Best of Dimension 5Blip blop bleeble blip….. What? Sorry? You don’t speak Robot?
Oh, my apologies, I thought everyone did. O.K. I’ll start again in English.

Have you ever imagined you were a robot? Perhaps, like me, you spend hours imagining what it would be like and what difficulties you might “face” in your everyday, robot, life. Where, for example, would you buy Levi’s to fit? What films would you want to see (one’s featuring robots probably), what kind of cheese do robots like?

One aspect of robot life that must cause robots lots of trouble is what sort of music to play for the kids. I mean, human children have lots of music made especially for them, Barnsley the Dinosaur, the Vege-tales and Queen, for example.

Robot kids though, what can they listen to? The adult robots are O.K. No problem for them as they attend their little robot soirees. There they can sip a lightly chilled machine oil and dance around to Kraftwerk.

Thank Heavens that one man, Bruce Haack, resolved this tricky problem for the whole of robotkind. Bruce, you see, saw himself as a “teacher” and, as well as being a pioneer electronic musician, made a series of records on his own “Dimension 5” label which were aimed squarely at the under 10 robot market (I think so anyway ,may be wrong on this one).

The CD I am recommending to you is a compilation of the best of these discs. Here you will find Bruce, Miss Nelson and her daughters adressing the concerns of robot children everywhere. How to do the Jelly Dance, how to start a motorcycle and what it sounds like to have “ants in your pants”.

For me though one track stands out above all the others. It is, I would argue, Bruce’s “Bohemian Raspberry”. I refer, of course, to “Coco the Coconut”.

Imagine, for a moment, that you are a young robot. You have listened to your parent’s music collection. Songs about robots like “Pocket Calculator” or “O.K. Computer”. You want something different, something that explains how organic life forms think and feel. What better than the tale of a talking coconut?

Bruce employs a variety of instruments to back this tale, many of them homemade from stuff he found in junk shops, bakeries etc. The melodies he employs are child (robot) friendly. Nursery rhyme like in their simplicity and all the more effective for it. The rest of the album is filled with “educational” themes. Here any little robot can pretend to “Be a clock” (Every time you hear the cuckoo, bend over and look between your legs) or learn to do the “Hand jive”.

I know I have learned a lot from Bruce and Miss Nelson. I susgest that you too search out this fine CD and learn to do the Jelly Dance. You never know when you might need to cheer up a sad robot child.

The Pube

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