Are we living in an algorithm prison?

By Alfredo Violante Widmer

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You go around in circles with no direction / Photoshop every imperfection / Live your life in automatic / Tell me, can you see through the static? / Algorithm prison / Sensory overload / Algorithm prison / You’re trapped in a code / You’ve all the smartphones but you ain’t too smart / A generation in need of a jump start / How can you be so apathetic? / You live your lives under general anaesthetic / London never sleeps / 24-hour shopping / London never sleeps / And it shows no sign of stopping / Seems like we’re a generation of rejects / Drowning in the deep end up to our necks / Education is a luxury that only the rich can afford / Get a degree, study The Beatles if you’re bored / We ain’t your target market / I ain’t your target market!



You’ve got to admire people that have managed not to be lured in by Facebook and other social media. For musicians, it creates a real dilemma: do you want the attention and publicity that comes through giving yourself away online, or is it too big a price to pay? Some have tried to stay outside and keep their image and songs enigmatic, but eventually they all get dragged in. It can seem like the music industry is more interested in your social media followers than your music.

And there you are, on your phone, as more and more random posts and adverts pop up, driven by algorithms that become more and more sophisticated. Up until recently, we’ve all known this was happening but perhaps have been too accepting of it as a ‘necessary evil’. Yet we were all shocked by the recent disclosures about shady companies using personal information harvested from more than 50 million Facebook users to influence people’s votes in the US presidential election and the UK’s Brexit referendum.

Sisteray wrote Algorithm Prison last year, recording it as part of a new EP due in April 2018. It’s about unwanted adverts, images popping up every time you want to hook up with mates on your phone. The end chorus came out of frustration because no one wants to think of themselves as a #targetmarket. This song gives a voice to that feeling – enough is enough.

Sisteray have a habit of doing pop-up #guerillagigs in London, with short notice info only available beforehand if you text to join their #Sisteraymob. Join them on 07935 613270.


See Sisteray live:

05 APR / NORTHAMPTON / The Black Prince

28 APR / SCUNTHORPE / Club Independiente

01 MAY / DUBLIN / The Workmans Club

03 MAY / GALWAY / The Black Gate Cultural Centre

18 MAY / BRIGHTON / Alternative Escape

19 MAY / SHEFFIELD / RS Bar (Musicians Against Homelessness #RoyalBedding)

02 JUN / LONDON / Camden Rocks

20 JUL LONDON / Nambucca Palooza Festival


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Cover photo by Jeff Moh