THE FUTURE'S NOW
Nick Gutterbreakz on the failure of the Nu Generation of Electro-Pop Futurists to actually sound futuristic: "I spent nearly fifteen years telling anyone who would listen that the synthpop/futurist period circa 1978-82 was ripe for fresh exploration. The ideas behind the likes of The Normal, early Fad Gadget, John Foxx, Visage etc etc etc seemed to me like a massive potential resource for pop's future..."
"(But) Most of the modern electropop I've heard," says Nick, "sounds like a bad joke, a tasteless pastiche, devoid of originality or grace..." Well, I get as irritated and frustrated about this topic as you do, Nick, hence my childishly pointless and immature attempts to kick off a Eastside/Westside style beef with Goldfrapp last year.
Nick points out (quite rightly) that 'Futurism' can never happen again in its original form. That moment has gone; it evaporated in a blur of receding tachyons, dopplershifted down into the bubbling Yes-No Quantal-Substrata of the 13-D Omnihedron that we all inhabit. 1979 is lost to us forever, but it remains as a memory; a single infinitisimally-small facet on the face of an infinitely large jewel. We catch tantalising glimpses of it sometimes, as random folds and creases in Space-Time cause Past, Future and Present to collide and create a Rachel Stevens single...
But sometimes, maybe, we look in the wrong place. Or maybe we're just looking too hard.
It's a Zen proposition, a Koan: Stop Looking, stop listening and you will hear...
You'll hear echoes of that era in the most unexpected of places, in the glacial synth-stomp of Kano's "P's & Q's", or the arthritically-stiff hand-claps on "Mic-Check 1,2"; the nervous analogue flutters of "Ghost Lawns" by The Anti-Pop Consortium; on Alt.Hop LPs and singles by Mike Ladd and Beans and Divine Styler and Company Flow...which all makes a weird kinda sense. After all, didn't Hip-Hop accept the baton in the early Eighties and temporarily Smurf-morph into Electro? So there's a lineage, of sorts, here that reaches back (via UKG and Brit-Hop and Streetsounds compilations) from Roll Deep to Fad Gadget.
The Future's still Here.
It never went away.