...by far the best release they've done yet.
Olli Siebelt 2002
Having been a convert to the wonderful ways of Danish electronica since the release of the mind blowing Boredom Is Deep And Mysterious compilation in 1994, Ive made sure that anything even remotely affiliated with Scandinavia makes its way into my CD player. As a result, Future 3 and the releases on Denmarks April Records have become a mainstay of my collection for the simple fact that not only do they know a good melody when they hear one but they arent afraid to make experimental music that sings rather than just scrapes, glitches or rumbles by.
Future 3 (aka Anders Remmer, Jesper Skaaning and Thomas Knak) have been involved within the Danish music scene for quite a while now but it wasn't until the release of their full length We Are The Future 3 in 1995 that they caught the ear of various scene stalwarts like Alex Patterson, Mixmaster Morris and even Bjork (band member Thomas Knak was recently asked by the Icelandic wonder woman to produce some of the tracks on Vespertine). Subsequently the band soon gained a small but dedicated following in Copenhagen and around the world.
Their third full length release, Like sees the band developing their own take on ambient techno, pushing the limits of modern electronic music as far as it can go. But while others like Portishead or Scorn seem to enjoy emphasising dissonance or darkness, Future 3 keep it light and airy with a wonderful childlike innocence and catchy little melodies that seem to stick in your head for weeks at a time. Lots of their tracks remind me of nursery rhymes played at half their normal speed. But for all the synthetic sounds on their releases, the influence here isnt just techno; there are elements of free jazz, trip-hop, ambient and folk music, all thrown together under an umbrella of abstract electronica.
Even the tracks that start out somewhat lo-fi and gritty like A Sound or 1000 break into lush melodies, opening up a unique dynamic musical space between the speakers. Is it something in the Danish psyche that encourages this type of beautiful music making? Is it something in the café culture? The water? The food? The colourful buildings? Who can say. What we do know is that Future 3 and April Records have a real knack for releasing some genuinely gorgeous music.
For those of you that are familiar with the output of Future 3, you will be in familiar territory and may well agree with me that this is by far the best release they've done yet. For those of you who dont know them, you should run out and get this CD as fast as you can. While you're at it, get all of their releases. No, scratch that - just purchase the entire April records back catalogue (especially the bands side projects: Jet, Opiate and Acustic) and see what youve been missing all this time. Your CD player and your friends will thank you. Absolutely essential.