Starting off a post on a futurist blog with the words No Future might seem counterintuitive, but It’s getting prettty intense here in 2017. Unless history has been rewritten and/or altered by some totalitarian overlord in your time, you’ll know that we currently find ourselves teetering on the brink of global upheaval.
The environment that sustains us is being pimped out by crypto-oligarchs in the name of short-sighted greed; our civil liberties are eroded through omnipresent digital surveillance; the wealth and dwindling resources are concentrated in the hands of a tiny elite, creating widespread instability; populist xenophobia and poisonous ideology are sweeping a sizable chunk of civilization; and in the midst of this deeply unsettling slippery slope of counterproductive irrationality, Donald Trump, the reality TV star turned President of the USA, the spray-tanned Commander-in-chief with the world’s most powerful military at his disposal, is getting increasingly irate and unpredictable, declaring war on the free press while orchestrating boneheaded tweets that reveal his thin-skinned egomania and alarming lack of statesmanship.
Usually, I’d find some way to make light of a messed-up situation, but the state of the world is so goddamn depressing that my optimism has taken a dystopian beating. The future – Your future – is looking pretty murky from where I’m standing.
The good news is that people are starting to wake up from their apathetic, apolitical slumber. Activists from across the spectrum are making their voices heard and art, creativity and popular culture are finally stepping up to acknowledge their influence and responsibility. Take Moiré, a gifted London-based producer, making experimental techno.
His latest album ‘No Future’ (Ghostly International), resonates the creeping fear and disorienting paranoia, enveloping the 21st century metropolis, following the unsightly side-effects brought on by the neoliberal dream of market-driven globalization and the steady descent into economic and political turmoil.
Armed with a potent arsenal of production skills and a refreshingly warped take on house and techno, the former architect effortlessly immerses you in a bleak, yet strangely uplifting wasteland of urban decay and gritty melancholia. It’s somehow always raining on tinted, opague windows in Moiré’s dense, beat-saturated dystopia. While it is in no way a call to arms or a manifest urging us to fight the power, it does in certain ways feel like a first, tentative step towards a kind of redemption. A way of overcoming our fears by naming them. Of solving the problem by shouting it from the rooftops, the shouting packaged in dark, compelling machine-funk.
I’m under no illusion that a techno album will solve the world’s problems. But I think it’s reasonable to assume that we have to start somewhere? To me at least, this feels like some kind of beginning. If nothing else, ‘No Future’ makes one hell of a soundtrack for dancing into the fire – to paraphrase (the distinctly apolitical) Duran Duran.
Theorizing on the transformative nature of globalization, the recently deceased sociologist and philosopher Zygmunt Bauman, once claimed that ‘one cannot stay put in moving sands.’ I’d argue that this particular musician has grabbed hold of a bold, illuminating torch to shine a flickering light on the darkened quicksand that we’re all, stunned and robot-like, sinking ourselves into. Whether or not the LP is emblematic of movement, change or mobility remains to be seen.
Actually, If I’m honest with myself, it feels as if you’re gradually sliding out of view. Like that time in Back to the Future when Marty sees the McFlys fading from the family photo. I don’t mean to sound impotent or feckless, but if you have a time machine, now might be a good time to drop by for a discreet little intervention.