PERFECT FOR: Punks that are down for a futuristic musical journey
WHO: Space and Vibes
WHERE FROM: London, UK
STARTED PERFORMING: 2015
Cult icons Black Futures are the result of two collaborators Space and Vibes, the self-proclaimed future punk anarchists and experimental sonic scientists. Taking inspiration from the absurdity of everyday life, the nihilistic group fosters a naturally captivating aural experience with their industrial noise anthems.
In order to further explore the magnitude of human experience, the band isn’t afraid to situate themselves in extreme environment – from facilitating weathered troubadours in the Himalayas, to collaborating with Indian classical musicians in Mumbai, to facing off KGB operatives and radioactive fallout to record violas in Chernobyl.
Black Futures are an extraordinary outfit who always rise to the occasion and hit the bullseye with their innovation. It’s in their mantra that Black Futures don’t deal with the mundane. They are an escape from the humdrum. Expect nothing but a mesmerising soundscape with thunderous beats and laser-honed sounds.
Who are you and where do you come from?
Space and Vibes AKA Black Futures. We’re straight from the W.O.M.B on a magical mystery tour to the tomb trying to keep out the gloom.
Can you describe your music in three words?
Apocalypse Prevention Party.
How did you decide that you wanted to be a musician and what influences your musical style?
No choice only necessity. Live by the sword, die by the sword. It’s probably the overwhelming expanse of existence and an extreme will to revel in its mayhem. That and distortion.
What prompted you to create music in extreme situations like in the Himalayas and Chernobyl?
Well we very much have an ethos of taking ideas to the nth degree. To bring it from the hypothetical and push ourselves to the extreme to make it a reality. The project in Nepal was to document the songs of the country’s folk music troubadours. Walking from village to village singing often politically charged songs of injustice in the caste system. We mostly focused on the magnificent Hom Bahadur Gandharva, who has been referred to as the Nepali Woodie Guthrie. His voice is like 100-year-old leather and he hasn’t changed his sarangi strings in 50 years.
What happened in Chernobyl?
We ended up in Chernobyl much to the label’s dismay working on a series of compositions for film with the theme of nuclear fallout. In my world you don’t just sit in a cosy studio dreaming, you go to the source. The stories of locals, the reverb of abandoned cities, the samples of rusting metal, crunch of gas masks under foot. Cover ups, heroics and sacrifice deserve first-hand exploration. We had some incredibly brave classical musicians with us, a documentary film maker and our inside man Igor on the adventure. This was some time ago just as the Ukrainian uprising was kicking off. Things were getting heated in Kiev and the energy was sketchy to say the least. We were followed, monitored and watched. Our guide was often taken off for questioning. All of the video footage ended up being erased on our way out the country ‘allegedly’. Both of these projects were before Black Futures was a glint in our eyes! But this spirit of pushing ideas to the maximum and physically exploring the world with music as a mission has carried through. From building sculptures in the desert to guerrilla gigs in abandoned cold war facilities. MAXIMUM!
What kind of collaboration you did with the Indian musicians in Mumbai? Who are they?
This was for a film music project. A culture clash of Western underground electronic music and devotional Indian classical music. We also collaborated with some Rajasthani folk musicians. Their voices are incredible, absolutely ripping! The Indian classical guys all moonlighted as Bollywood session players and had a really good understanding of western music. This was such a mad opportunity to be geeks together! Sharing knowledge, ideas and generally being punks (laughs). It felt very much like a cultural exchange. Mumbai is an incredible place. It’s fucking brimming with life. Layers on layers of history, colour, culture and madness.
Is there a subculture that inspires the way you dress?
We’re into all counterculture. If it screams nonconformity and freedom of expression, we dig it! Zero fucks!
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