I first heard OK Computer in the bus during a power outage that stopped all train traffic. I still remember the sensation of Paranoid Android hitting my brain. I first heard The velvet Underground & Nico on my Walkman, cycling to a sports event. The relative conventionality of Sunday Morning almost made me switch it off. I vividly remember how nice the weather was during a massive fight with my girlfriend just before a concert by The Fall. The fight was not about music.
I also remember when and how Portishead hit me with Dummy. It was December 1994. I was at a party of a friend, a girl I vaguely used to fancy. My girlfriend was with me, knowing no one, which added to my discomfort. I sat next to her, in silence, while my friends had an animated conversation at the other end of the room. The room was so scarcely lit it almost looked black. Just some candles. I just stared at the bottle of beer in my hands.
Scratchy samples and eerie beats suddenly stared filling the room. Then a mysterious female voice. Desperate, cold as ice but full of locked-in emotion. It immediately took me to a different reality; black and white movies, creepy men in rain coats, smoking, waiting for a coded message delivered by a fellow spy. Cocktail bars in 1930’s Berlin. Women as stone-cold beautiful as Marlene Dietrich. Christa Päffgen in the 1960’s, before heroin destroyed her.
I’m gone, off to a different world, a different reality, only to come back after the last fading lines of Glory Box. It doesn’t feel like a shock. I see everything differently, a bit lighter. Outside it started snowing.