There were also a few treats thrown in for good measure. The panoramic view from the top of the hill after dark over Canary Wharf, the O2 Arena and the City was nothing short of incredible. Observing Jupiter through a telescope, such that you could see its moons and surface bands, and the friendly chat with the knowledgeable astronomer manning said telescope were also a lot of fun. After a tour around the galleries—and having failed to design a competent comet-chasing spacecraft—we headed into the planetarium dome for an appropriately space-themed 45 minutes of visuals and music.
The show itself followed on in the same vein as a lot of Ninja Tune's back catalogue by coming with a heavy dose of surrealism. In some sections a front-centre patch of the dome was used as a sort of viewing window, when there was a particular focus, with a backdrop of, say, views of galaxies or stars covering the rest; most of the time, though, projections across the whole dome were used to surround us with some sort of environment. Starting with a record spinning, we then took off on a low-orbit pass of the Earth's surface, glowing with electricity at night. Then we travelled through views of deeper space, reportedly culled from a large stash of material provided to Strictly Kev by the observatory astronomers.
Going deeper, a large portion of the show was spent immersed within dizzying alternate dimensions of rotating graphics. In one particularly hypnotizing portion, the whacked-out twanging two minutes into "Magpie Music" was looped, as circular bands of patterns revolved in opposite directions. Time itself seemed to get stuck as well. Other patterns were manipulated in equally mind-boggling ways in other passages, while the artwork from the album (drawn by Henry Flint, who did work on the 2000AD comics, and coloured by Strictly Kev) came up in others. All of this fit with the heavy drum-break-and-fuzz-bass character of The Search Engine, as the vocal samples throughout the album provided some sort of a hypnagogic narrative. Towards the end, sunspots and analysis graphs played out to the rolling congas and bizarre, rubbery bass of "Trick of the Ear," as if we had tunnelled in and were observing the core mechanics of existence, before we came back to reality at the end.