Aside from giving your album the über-negative title ‘No Future’, how exactly do you turn your techno-leaning, mostly instrumental music into a critique of modern society? A society which architect and electronic music producer Moiré describes as feeling ‘like everything is disappearing in front of us’.
This album represents Moiré’s astute dissertation on an era that is supposed to be filled with innovation and possibility, but which instead wants to turn everything into a homogenous cookie-cutter image image of itself. As an architect, where the demands of maximising rent-per-square-foot leads to identikit glass boxes devoid of flair and courage, Moiré likely feels this most acutely; whereas, as a musician, he can at least present something more powerfully original and unconstrained. To do this he refracts the familiar pulse of techno through the critical dystopian lens of Philip K. Dick, an author who seemed to assiduously preempt a future no-one especially wanted with alarming accuracy.
The result is dance music with a slightly detached, vaguely cynical atmosphere, despite familiar motifs; cautious and cautionary, it eschews flashy statements and cryptic say-nothing/do-nothing minimalism in favour of a sound which is instantly recognisable as possessing negative sentiment. This is techno that draws upon a tradition established by Jeff Mills’s revisionist score for Fritz Lang’s ‘Metropolis’, itself a nightmarish vision of a future dominated by technological forces that were not to everyone's universal advantage.
Techno, and dance music in general, relies on incessant forward motion to convey an almost militant sense of progress. ‘No Future’s singular success is to turn that forward motion inside out; it moves forward, for sure, but in an uncertain direction, and one that may yet not be entirely positive. The result is a truly thought-provoking, needfully important record.
Words: Mat Smith (@mjasmith)
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