METROLAND – Harry Beck (remixed and edited by Növö)
METROLAND – ‘Mixing The Gap’ EPCD
Out now is a brand new video from the Kraftwerkian Belgian duo Metroland. The video “Harry Beck” (in a remix by Növö) is dedicated to Harry Beck, an English engineering draftsman best known for creating the present London Underground Tube map in 1931.
Original version taken from album Mind The Gap
Remixed by Laurent Boudic under Növo
Edited from EPCD Mixing The Gap
Video edit by HC Carbo
Harry Beck (real name Henry Charles Beck), is a name you most likely will not know, even though a great deal of us have already been using his creation or have seen alternative versions of it.
Neither did we know Mr Beck, but at the time when we were figuring out what to take as art for the album we went on the internet looking for some interesting pictures. It is there where we stumbled upon Beck and his ‘creation’.
Harry Beck was an English engineering draftsman best known for creating the present London Underground Tube map in 1931. This map seems so common to every one of us these days, but in the early 1930’s it wasn’t. The company of ‘London Underground’ was initially skeptical of Beck’s radical proposal — it was an uncommissioned spare-time project, and it was tentatively introduced to the public in a small pamphlet in 1933. It immediately became popular, and the Underground has used topological maps to illustrate the network ever since.
Beck had the idea of creating a full system map in color. He believed that passengers riding the trains were not too bothered about the geographical accuracy, but were more interested in how to get from one station to another, and where to change. Thus he drew his famous diagram, looking more like an electrical schematic than a true map, on which all the stations were more or less equally spaced.
Knowing this, we were sure it was a nice idea to pay homage to such an interesting character, which eventually inspired us, convinced no one has ever done this before. So we looked for more information, films, documentaries, whatever we could find on Harry Beck. And from a shipload of information, we distillated that sample that to us seemed the essence behind the complete story: ‘form followed function’. At the same time we decided to take this slogan as the essence of our project and album.
This song was the last addition to the album. It was first intended to be part of a download EP, but the final result was so good that we both decided that Harry Beck deserved a spot on the album.
As for the remix, we asked Laurent Boudic from NÖVÖ again, as he already delivered us a true marvel of ‘Theme For Metroland’. The result is stunning: a surprising remix which brings you back to the late 80’s when the famous UK electro label Mute Records released their limited 12inches. They always contained that sort of remixes that had a hint of the original, still containing enough interesting other sounds on top. Massive rework, great style, but what else would you expect ? Laurent is Belgian as well !