Foto: Presse/Screenshots (Blind Observatory/Ghost In The Shell)

Started in February, our new feature series Off The Tracks intends to change roles by offering a weekly contribution written by various artists in- and outside the electronic music scene. Invited by Groove editor Sebastian Weiß, Off The Tracks provides an open-minded platform for sharing opinions about music, film, literature, art, as well as more personal insights on the DJ lifestyle or much-debated issues.

Next in line is the DJ and producer Blind Observatory. Last year he was not only chosen by the Groove readers as one of ther newcomers in 2016, the Berlin-based artists also founded his very own label Gravitational. Its first two releases Way Over Yonder and Forsaken Dreadnought Approaching Dead Space are by no means the only references introducing his passion for science fiction as his conceptual vision. Consequently, Blind Observatory writes about the animated science fiction film Ghost In The Shell. Often presented as the Japanese equivalent to Blade Runner, the original movie from 1995 has also influenced other genre milestones such as The Matrix Trilogy.

 


 

As a big science-fiction enthusiast and a fan of everything cyberpunk, there might be no other movie that had a bigger impact on me than Ghost In The Shell by Mamoru Oshii from 1995. I remember buying it on VHS when I was 16 and I keep on coming back to it ever since (to the movie – not the VHS). It takes place in a near future where artificially enhanced people are the norm, technologically optimized brains being permanently connected to the net, and entirely artificial bodies are the new big thing.

The story revolves around police officer Motoko Kusanagi, who happens to be the owner/inhabitant of one of these android bodies. You might already see the dilemma here and the slight identity crisis she is struggling with; not only is Motoko’s mind trapped in a body that isn’t her real one, but also technically belongs to the police unit she is working for. This struggle doesn’t get any easier when she and her team encounter a hacker that is capable of sneaking into people’s minds and altering them at will, including the replacement of memories to change their behavior. When this very hacker turns out to be an artificial intelligence developed by a foreign secret service, going rogue after becoming self-aware and eventually downloading itself into a body fresh from the factory just to file for political asylum, the mess is perfect.