Moiré

No Future

by Paul Carr

14 February 2017

Moiré sees a world spinning out of control on this mesmerizing left-field house album.
 
cover art

Moiré

No Future

(Ghostly International)
US: 17 Feb 2017

No Future isn’t meant as a political statement. For electronic artist Moiré, the title is an obvious summation of where we, as a society, find ourselves. The world as we know it is slipping away as right-wing politicians chip at our civil liberties and win victories over the dispossessed and disenfranchised simply by shouting the loudest. Society finds itself stuck in a regressive swan dive in which we rush to hit the reset button to take us back to the “good ole days”.

For an artist like Moiré, this is plain to see. There is no future. That said, No Future is not meant as a huge punk statement in the same way as, say, the work of the Sex Pistols. It is borne from resignation bordering on ambivalence. We cannot hope to build a better future when are so wrapped up in the past. Before we can even consider the future, we have to pick up the pieces of the present. For him, it is self-evident that society requires palpable change if we are to correct the corrosive course we have set ourselves on. That is not to say that there is no hope. Rather, there needs to be a monumental shift and a concerted, united effort to change. In his eyes, this is increasingly unlikely. This attitude of foreordination permeates Moiré ’s follow-up to his debut album, Shelter. In many ways, No Future is a fatalistic album that sees the worst in people and society. As Moiré has admitted, the four words that inspired the album most are: “fear”, “hypocrisy”, “inequality”, and “lies”.

Despite being saturated with such negative themes, opener “Sequence 1” sounds anything but pessimistic. It begins with washes of ethereal synths that pop and burst like sound bubbles. Like many of the tracks here, Moiré allows this one to grow and bloom before shrinking away. Things become a little more oppressive on “Lost You”, which features detached, grimey vocals from DRS. His cold, matter-of-fact delivery adds a dismal air of cheerless resignation. It perfectly encapsulates the theme of the death of communication, where we are gradually losing our ability to hold meaningful inter and intra-personal conversations. DRS proves to be the perfect combination for Moiré’s shuffling, desolate atmospherics with synths that are allowed to fade in and out. It is a bleak yet spellbinding highlight of the album.

It is important to remember that this is also an album perfectly fit for a club. “Secret Window” is propelled by a constant, percussive, metallic heartbeat. Even more impressively, Moiré is confident enough to let the beat slow and gently sink before bringing it back. “System 100” cleverly contrasts ambient, resonating notes over pounding, ringing percussion. The track is given plenty of space to build as it gently morphs from one thing to another, while “Jupiter” is founded on a rolling beat that slowly begins to fracture before splintering into different directions. Rather impressively, Moiré somehow still keeps the shards of sound tethered to the same oscillating rhythm.

Moiré uses his influences wisely, never flooding a single song with too many ideas. “Casual” rides ‘80s techno-influenced beats yet, remarkably, retains the dark tone that inhabits many of the tracks on here. Similarly, “Magma Dream” follows the same pattern but at a slightly higher tempo, featuring the pitter-patter of beats. Moiré  cleverly allows its jarring dissonance to build keeping the listener slightly on edge, whereas “Opposites” is built on a solid, snaking keyboard riff braced by scuttling, insectile beats.“Bootleg” see the return of DRS, with Moiré  framing his looping, deep flow over a funkier, cavernous groove that sits heavy in your stomach. It’s another inspired pairing, one that makes you wonder what an entire album’s worth of collaboration would sound like.

“Facade” is a far more laid-back and hazy affair, but it still maintains the gritty relationship with the streets from which it came, as post-grime poet James Massiah tells of “Class A drugs in filthy alleyways”.Moiré ’s more avant-garde tendencies are perfectly illustrated on “Opium”, which features keyboard notes that tumble and expand like raindrops hitting calm water. It also features one of his signatures in the form of deadened snippets of detached vocals. Closer “Auteur (outro)” slowly circles and spins with the occasional punch of a single beat breaking the spell. That is, until squelchy synths introduce a gentle ambient ripple that comes across as something altogether more spiritual and final. In some ways, it sounds like a fatal ending, the death of something.

Moiré has succeeded in taking his sound further with No Future. Chillier and more unfamiliar but equally as engaging, it covers a lot of the same ground as Actresses’ Splazsh LP. It is characterized by its left field house leanings but it exists purely on its own merits. Moiré  is a master of building and layering sounds to allow some to disappear while others flicker like the aural equivalent of static on a television. Overall, Moiré has managed to create an album infused with the dark, negative aspects of society but rather than being a dystopian, apocalyptic vision of the future, there simply is no future at all. 

No Future

Rating:

Topics: electronic | house | moiré
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