When I was young we were a struggling single-parent, four-child family and every Easter and summer we had foreign students staying at the house to give my Mum a bit of extra money.
One year, when I was about twelve or thirteen we had a German student (they were usually German) that claimed he was a famous musician in his native Germany. I have a very vague memory of him bringing a tape downstairs and playing it in the living room for everyone and I remember that it sounded really electronic and a bit weird and had the repeated line in English “Time operator, I operate the time”.
I’ve carried this refrain in my head for the last 25 or 26 years without discussing it with anyone, giving it a second thought or properly knowing where it came from or whether it was a real song at all. I was sitting at my desk today searching for creative inspiration when the line popped back into my head, “Time operator, I operate the time”. So, I Googled the line on impulse and there it was: 1998, Germany, band called OFF (Organisation For Fun) featuring the godfather of 90s Teutonic techno, Sven Väth and two producers (Luca Anzilotti & Michael Münzing) who went on to revolutionise UK dance music by producing SNAP!
Wow! Had we unwittingly hosted the future of European dance music in our overcrowded suburban enclave? I immediately e-mailed my Mum to see if she remembers any German students called Sven, Luca or Michael. She was online and came back with an instant……….”Definitely no Sven or Luca, maybe a Michael, but I don’t think so”.
Oh, well…..perhaps our guest had an overactive imagination or was just trying to impress an impressionable 12 year-old English boy just beginning to become obsessed with music. But, I still like to think there’s a small chance that that summer we may have played host to the future!