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Britain’s Brink – An Immersive Mixtape

Following in the footsteps of Burgess and Cuaron, this conceptual playlist paints a uniquely British dystopia.

Artwork by Ben Cobb / @novel.design_

The “Immersive Mixtape” offers a conceptual, transporting experience: A thematic selection of songs intended to be listened to in order of arrangement, with unique visual artwork created exclusively for the tape and a piece of creative writing for the music to provide a score to.

Presenting “Britain’s Brink”: Following in the footsteps of Burgess and Cuaron, this mixtape paints a uniquely British dystopia. All songs are by British artists, all transport you to a UK on the very edge of destruction, just beginning to slip…

Buildings wavy up to the black, crooked from the rain. Pissing it down.

Rascal’s gold tooth glints off of the aqua night and he slinks long legged in the shadows, his face might have got stuck in that position ages ago – he can’t remember – always been the comedic type. He mutter’s “geezer” to geezers that aren’t there and tips his cap, paying respects.

Up top, the orange on a cigarette glows and fades as Betty enjoys that warm smoke travelling down her.

Smog lies like oil over the street, grey and gluey. Foxes, all ribs and sticks and fur, scutter between alleys and shadowy crows caw after them. Rascal knows where he’s going. In passing, a window of brown light lets his eyes in. Through torn curtains he spots some politician or other; tie loose around a chubby neck and stained with brunch, sits melting into gunk before the fear blasting from his TV box. Rascal thought he looked like how people look when they’re fast asleep, ugly and unaware and never ever concerned. 

A screeching flies towards him like a banshee, red and blue sirens spiral into a scabby, violent purple. Uniforms yelp and shriek out the window, and when they don’t their jaws are viced by the same stuff making their pupils drink up the night so greedy – and in the shattered windows at the back Rascal swears he sees a cluster of black and brown faces, hollow eyed and confused and still stinking of the sea. 

Chuckling, he kicks up a big bundle of old advertising and skips down the dripping cobbles. Ben’s old skeleton stands weary like a black autumnal mirage in the distance, but his thick horizon is mainly made from clustered, dusky lights: yelling to buy this and watch out for that.

Rascal makes his way through the curfewed street, hunched and skittish towards a manhole in the distance. There it is. It steams and rattles and a reddish glow seeps from its mouths, like the emerging head of some ancient, angry beast.

He descends, oh what a joyful descent. He sinks into the basin of that dusty world, caked in its obsessions. So far gone in itself itself itself, every inch of doughy nothingness stretched to thin insanity; fat men have run in every corner of the same plane. In want and fear and cynicism, jailing up those who ran in the opposite direction from them, only to be jailed up themselves.

Only Rascal knew where to go, only Rascal knew where the rubble didn’t seep and the stench didn’t eat, where the beers weren’t bitter and people didn’t pretend, where “discuss” was a curse, action was the church and getting fucked up was the only truth. A fiery, spiritual insurrection. Rascal went down and down and he hoped to lose himself once and for all. 


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