The Null Device


A Times article from last year, talking to Swedish pop band I'm From Barcelona about their background:

Any pressure Lundgren feels at taking the helm of this oil-tanker of a group is, he admits, entirely his fault. After years of being what he describes as a melancholy guy writing melancholy songs a funny thing happened, and he fell in love with a girl called Frida (who now plays maracas in the band). Spurred out of his malaise, an idea quickly crystallised as he found himself writing songs not just for his own benefit, but also for his friends.
Many pursue other musical interests, such as Erik Ottosson, the dreadlocked tuba player who is "the youngest by about fifty years" in a local marching band. Rikard Ljung has his own group, but joined I'm From Barcelona as their flautist despite having next to no experience with the instrument. "I know all the notes I need to know, but there are kids from second grade who are better than me," he admits, before leaning forward to make sure Lundgren is out of earshot. "If we're playing live and it's too hard, sometimes I just pretend to play."
For those in the UK, I'm From Barcelona are playing in London on either the 24th or 25th of January, depending on whom you believe, and possibly in Manchester around that date as well.

culture i'm from barcelona indiepop music swedish 1

I recently visited Dave's Boutique, a veritable treasure trove of junk and ephemera in Smith St., Collingwood. As well as picking up a stack of CDs (at well below the standard second-hand shop price; A$10 for a recent release (before negotiation) is not bad), I found the following unusual artefact sitting in a glass cabinet, below rows of old Sega cartridges and PlayStation discs:

Weird game diskette (3180) Weird game diskette (3182)

There were several such discs there, each in its own jewel case, though they varied in colour (most were black, this one is yellow). The tray card in the jewel case is, in each case, a printed photograph (a similar technique was used on Indonesian copies of cassette albums in the 1980s). The diskettes are neither 3.5" disks of the sort used on PCs, Macs and Amigas, nor the disks used on Amstrad 8-bit computers, but some other format; perhaps the same as the disks used on some old samplers and dedicated word processors?

Does anybody know what kind of system this disk was created for? I'm guessing it's either an 8-bit computer or some type of floppy-based game console that didn't make it out of Asia. Then again, given the photographic tray cards, perhaps it was designed for some illicit cartridge-copying device that piggybacked onto a better-known system. I vaguely recall seeing these disks at a flea market a decade or two earlier as well.

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