FROM THE MARS ROVER photos to the recently observed supernova in the Cigar Galaxy, the present offers ample stimulus for the cosmic-minded thrill-seeker. But there are other ways to contemplate the galaxy; back in 1982, South Bronx visionary Afrika Bambaataa found his signature electro-funk sound with Planet Rock. A pumping slice of technoid futurism recorded in a studio called Intergalactic, and including re-recorded elements of Kraftwerk’s Numbers and Trans-Europe Express, its video full of body popping b-boys and the Soulsonic Force’s own sharp tailoring needs to be seen.
Currently a visiting scholar at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, Bambaataa last month donated his 40,000-strong vinyl collection, papers and more to the university’s Hip Hop Collection. With his name written on each record cover in biro, his collection of Zulu Nation Sure Shots famously includes discs by Queen and Pink Floyd alongside James Brown and Fela Kuti wax - surely a lesson for us all.