The single criticizes the British national identity card plans. A statement from a band spokesman cites the issue as the reason that Tennant ceased his well-publicized support of Tony Blair's Labour Party. The lyrics are fully masked and converted to the homage to Yevgeny Zamyatin's legendary dystopian book "We", in which the inhabitants of the future One State try to build The Integral, a glass spaceship, in order to solve the cosmic equation and resolve all the problems in their One State.
Pet Shop Boys signal the release of their new album 'Disco 4' with a groundbreaking video for the single, 'Integral'. Picking up on the song's theme of ID cards and the erosion of our civil liberties by government, new creative group the Rumpus Room has conceived and created a sinister mix of surveillance type footage and information technology. Embedded in this dystopian film are single frames of QR Code ( a new Bar Code technology - QR stands for Quick Response - that is readable by the camera in your mobile phone ): pause the video on the QR Code 'frame', take a 'snapshot' with your mobile and the camera 'reads' the QR Code ( in the same way scanners at a supermarket checkout read your shopping items ).
There are two versions of the 'Integral' video available - the first is a low resolution 'graphic' version optimized for portable devices (mobile phones, PDA's etc.,) the second a higher resolution for traditional broadcast needs. Both versions successfully mix the 'fluid' technology of the internet ('links' etc.,), the new way we consume film and video ('pause', 'rewind' etc.,) and the new tools ( 'QR Codes', camera-phones etc.,) that we can use to read/encode our environment.
Neil:The idea is that it’s sung from the point of view of the authoritarian New Labour-style government. “If you’ve done nothing wrong, you’ve got nothing to fear” is always used as a justification for ID cards. What we object to about ID cards is that they’re intelligent cards with a data strip that can link to a central database containing personal information which may be shared with America; when you say you don’t want that, they always say that if you’ve done nothing wrong you’ve got nothing to hide. But I think we all have a right to privacy. I feel it’s a move that suggests we have to justify ourselves to the state before the state will trust us, and I think it’s for us to trust the state and not the other way round. I think the government has to win our trust, not us win their trust. We put the lyrics on the website earlier this year when there was a fuss brewing about ID cards, and Chris had phoned me up to say that some junior minister had used the word “integral” in defending it. There was a big article in the Evening Standard about the song. But the song has got a wicked kind of humour as well. It’s meant to be someone giving a speech really, madly justifying all of this, with a lot of energy behind.
Chris:It’s quite authoritarian, the music.
Neil:Yes, it’s quite Stalinist, I think, and the music really reflects that. It’s really catchy, though.
Artists: Pet Shop Boys Title: Integral Management: Dorrell Management Record Company: EMI Records Commissioner: Kirstin Cruickshank Creative: The Rumpus Room Film Production: The Sweet Shop Films Creative Director: Tom Roope – The Rumpus Room Film Directors: Lawrence Blankenbyl, Jeff Wood, Wade Shotter Producers: Tim Francis, Jacqui Kenny DOP: Jonathan Clabburn Camera Assistant: David Allain Grip: Anthony Benjamin Gaffer: Billy Brookes Editor: Nat Pickles Post Production: Leon Woods – The Mill Post Production: Angela Jackson – The Mill
Special thanks to: The Mill, Hampshire Street Studio, Matt Reddings - Kinkajou Productions Ltd, Clare Webb, No2ID, Mark Thomas, Chris Atkins - Taking Liberties, Jonty Scrufff, Mark Farrow, Airside, Tolula Dada, Clem, Lex, Matt, Denis Russo, Matt Day, everyone at Rushes who participated and everyone who turned up to Whitefield Memorial Church.