Future predictions rarely hold true, if they did we would all have personal jet packs, be living on the moon or in the dark dystopian city scapes envisioned in Blade Runner. But predicting the future is just what we love to do, in print, in film, in fact, fiction and fashion, and of course in music. The Blitz Kids, punk futurists who embraced Bowie-esque dreams took to rewiring broken keyboards and bending them to their will and then as New Romantics they painted new sonic versions of the future and maybe that is one prediction which came true. Music made by humans manipulating computers into robotic part man, part machine sounds, which in turn spawned new technology and new options and if the guitar band didn’t become obsolete, there were now definitely alternate paths to take.
And if those pioneering bands planted the seed of a digital music revolution, the fact that such an approach to making music is not only still alive but part of mainstream practice shows that they knew at least what they wanted the future to look and sound like. A Million Machines are part of that future vision, referencing just enough of past sonic explorers such as Depeche Mode, OMD and John Foxx but pushing that sound forward at the same time.
Their’s is a clean and layered sound built of vibrant beats, pulsing electronica and modular synth building materials all kept in check wonderfully by the slightly deadpan vocals and often dark subject matter of Fate Fatal’s lyrical deliveries. And if that sounds like we have heard it all before, it is what they bring to the party that keeps things moving forward, the punky, electro-clash of Tech Support, Vitality and its brooding, booming bass line underpinning cinematic, widescreen synths and Come Tonight is futuristic electro-pop at its finest.
The dawn to this particular musical event horizon was ushered in by a bunch of punks who wanted to destroy the status quo and indeed Status Quo and whilst they might have kicked down the musical barricades it was the disenfranchised kids in make-up clutching keyboards who embraced the future and it is a future which is still being discussed sonically and digitally by bands such as A Million Machines.