Today’s track comes from French electronic musician Bernard Szajner, who was originally a visual effects artist, setting up lazer shows at rock concerts for the likes of Gong, Magma, and Klaus Schulze. During this time he invented the laser harp, a system that used lasers to control synthesizers, which was most famously used by Jean Michel Jarre. His first musical project was called Zed, which recorded an excellent album in 1979 called Visions of Dune. Inspired by Frank Herbert’s sci-fi novel, the disc is equal parts synth atmospherics and heavy grooves. After the Zed record, Szajner went on to record a handful of great albums and singles both under his own name and with Karel Beer in their duo The (Hypothetical) Prophets.
Today’s track comes from Some Deaths Take Forever, his first album recorded under his real name, which came out in 1980. The album, which features playing by Bernard Paganotti and Klaus Basquiz of the classic French prog band Magma, was based around the concept of the feelings felt by inmates on death row. If it makes you feel ill at ease, that’s as Szajner would want it. As he put it, “if people feel uneasy that’s perfectly right because one of the aims was to make people think, ‘something’s not right about inflicting death’.”