On the latest album from musician/author Rupert Lally, we deep dive into dystopian sounds and science fiction narratives that feel part Kraftwerk/part Philip K Dick. Retro-futuristic visions and late 70s/early 80s sound worlds come together to pull the listener into a warm and inviting listening experience, that also feels worrisome and paranoid at the same time.
Forgotten Futures was originally only available as a download with issue 3 of Lost Futures Magazine, but it is now available as a standalone LP. This album finds Lally mining nostalgia with sounds reminiscent of his childhood in the late 70s and early 80s; woozy synths and kinetic rhythms come together to paint a kind of sci fi world that donned posters on the walls of thoughtful, sensitive teens that spent their days reading Dick, Asimov, and Bradbury as opposed to playing ball with the neighborhood kids. Woozy sound worlds that owe a debt to early German music pioneers, lost-to-time synthesists, and the sound of forgotten b-movie fantasy films.
“Forgotten Futures” opens the album with a click-clack rhythm and expansive synth melodies as a voice reminds us that eventually the future becomes the past as it repeats “now it’s just a memory, lost in the past” in regards to what we deemed “futuristic” once. “Hold Onto My Voice” seems to waver between this world and the next, optimism coalescing with skepticism in a sea of tranqil electronics. “Stranger Danger” is more ominous, giving that phrase the dark intent it derives from(if you grew up in the early 80s then this phrase has some weight to it.) “Edge Of The Infinite” carries some serious sonic weight, opening the door to a bigger scope. It sounds like a door opening to a whole other universe, offering more questions than answers.
“Kaleidoscope” and “Everything We Leave Behind” paint woozy landscapes, while “Ellipse” has an early 80s percussive beat that wavers between synth pop and Blade Runner escapism. There’s definitely some Boards Of Canada feels in the more esoteric tracks here.
Forgotten Futures is a thoughtful kind of electronic record, one that shines a light on the big unknowns. It opens the intellectual discussion of what is the future? Or what is futuristic? Concrete playgrounds, TVs in the kitchen, these minor points of reference seemed futuristic to a kid growing up between Carter and Reagan; Callaghan and Thatcher. But these are now are mere throwbacks to simpler times. The future seems far more vast and, well, lurid these days. I’ll take Forgotten Futures‘ rearview to a future long gone, than anything we have to look forward to years from now.