Add N to (X) – Little Black Rocks In The Sun

Author: Colin | Published: 8/1/11

Add N to (X) - Little Black Rocks In The Sun

Add N to (X) - Little Black Rocks In The Sun

Add N to (X) - Little Black Rocks In The Sun

Add N to (X) - Little Black Rocks In The Sun

Add N to (X) - Little Black Rocks In The Sun

Add N to (X) - Little Black Rocks In The Sun

Add N to (X) - Little Black Rocks In The Sun

Add N to (X) - Little Black Rocks In The Sun

Add N to (X) - Little Black Rocks In The Sun

Artist Add N to (X)
Title Little Black Rocks In The Sun
Label Mute
Year 1998
Design Unknown
Music Analogue thrills
Desktop Download image
Notes Add N To (X) wielded their vintage analogue synths for a few years back in the late ’90s to deliver a fine mixture of bombast, sauciness, sci-fi and retro-oriented fun. This 10″ single is a hugely pleasurable thing: from its mysterious closed state, to the opening of the leaves, the hexagonal vinyl inside, the steampunk story that mixes in dashes of pop culture

“The Proud Pilot ADD N TO X enters his steam driven space ship to much applause and the fanfare of the massed marching drum machines of NASA. His mission: to enter the Black Hole and make contact with the SINGULARITY.”

right through to the music itself. The title track on the ‘A’ side is a grin-inducing blend of noise, mayhem and pounding beats while the ‘B’ side presents amusing narratives spoken through a vocoder.

Little Black Rocks In The Sun is a wonderful object that hints at an occluded past – it’s clearly paying homage to Gil Mellé’s soundtrack for The Andromeda Strain, a distinctly rare item nowadays:

Gil Mellé - The Andromeda Strain

Perhaps best known is the cover for the equally marvellous On The Wires Of Our Nerves, the sleeve that depicted Ann Shenton giving birth to a Moog synthesizer by caesarean section:


I mentioned sauciness as a key ingredient of Add N to (X)’s allure and here’s the primary evidence for such a claim, the Plug Me In video, a delightfully catchy tune that would have been number 1 if there’d been any justice in the world. Do note the Dailymotion website where this is hosted requires you to be 18 to view – no cheating now.

Listen Little Black Rocks In The Sun (edit)


  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Colin Buttimer. Colin Buttimer said: New on Hard Format:: Add N to (X) – Little Black Rocks In The Sun http://www.hardformat.org/6561/add-n-to-x-little-black-rocks-in-the-sun/ […]

  2. Man used to love these guys/gals.
    Like Broadcast and Stereolab, never a band managed to be so years ahead of their time by being so analog.
    Still heartbroken they broke up.
    Cover design is most likely their own given they pretty much designed all their own covers up to that point.
    Oh and if you want ” sauciness, sci-fi and retro-oriented fun” have you ever seen this hilarity:

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