EMA

The Future’s Void

Matador

Apr 04, 2014 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


William Gibson-a founding father of the now-classic science-fiction subgenre called cyberpunk-has said that SF strain has become a "standard Pantone shade in pop culture." (The question of cyberpunk's fate had been posed to him in a fantastic Motherboard article by SF critic-and YACHT member-Claire Evans.) In the mid-'90s, real-life technology began to catch up with a lot of what classic cyberpunk had envisioned, and the genre was gradually subsumed into sci-fi's wider arena. (And will only continue to do so as we enter the age of Google Glass and the Oculus Rift.) In music, though, cyberpunk's impact is as strong as ever. Artists such as YACHT, Neon Indian, EMAchildren of the '80s, all of themhave been inspired by the works of Gibson, Rucker, Sterling & Co., whether you hear it in their lyrics or an album's retrofuturistic tinge. This new wave of cyberpunkrockers seem to suggest that cyberpunk hasn't quite "evolved into birds," as author Neal Stephenson put ityou just have to know where to look.

Erika M. Anderson has recorded, thus far, the most outwardly cyberpunk album of the bunch. The Future's Void wears these influences near its surfacethe song titled "Neuromancer" is the hardest to misswith lyrics invoking several of the subgenre's hallmarks. The shredded online identity in "3Jane""Feel like I glued my soul out across the inter-webs and screamed/It was a million pieces of silver, watched them gleam")is particularly Gibson-esque. But The Future's Void is not a concept albumas Anderson clarified to us earlier this yearbut only tinted by her love of sci-fi. ("Satellites"inspired by Cold War anxieties, rather than NSA-like surveillancefeels like a bit of a fake-out.) It's an album exemplified by her singular, sometimes subversive songwriting, which rattles your consciousness like an exposed nerve, and can leave its stirring images scrawled on the insides of your eyelids. This record feels even more pinpoint-focused than her firstperhaps thanks to its recurring themesand the shaking, distorting sounds she's wrapped around her voice are as beautifully unsettling as her words. (www.thefuturesvoid.net)

Author rating: 8.5/10

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BrandStar Entertainment
April 7th 2014
10:57pm

In the mid-‘90s, real-life technology began to catch up with a lot of what classic cyberpunk had envisioned.