To the future — and back

first appeared ✍🏼 on KLBRATED blog

Though nearly a two years into exploring the spheres of music which has now universally obtained the name „future beats“, we also must admit being at least slightly puzzled about the precise meaning of it ever since we started with KLBRATED.

Mainly because it is interpreted very differently and the variety of listeners love distinct edges of it. The same way it is with any type of music. Does it really stand for a developing genre and if so, which are the defining components of it? What part does „future“ actually play in it, if anything?

Furthermore, why has it had such a profound impact on our individual journeys in music? Which of the edges is it that we are driven to and why?

In order to comprehend it, we have to start with something a bit more general first.

It is somewhat refreshing when you come to the point in life at which you realize that growth, and pushing yourself forward, is not granted.

You need to establish it.

It expects an effort and a willingness to not only look further from what is in front of your eyes but to learn to understand that sometimes it actually is the initially imperfect looking scenario which might take you to new heights. You need to learn to understand it. To appreciate it. Each way, it takes a push from within. If there is something that deeply intrigues you but you give up on it only because it does not make sense, at first sight, you possibly lose an opportunity.

Our journey with future beats started in a similar fashion. It took a moment to really get to understand the feeling which comes along the sound.

Being the kids of late ´80s and early ´90s, the more conscious trip through the variety of genres and nuances in music started not earlier than in the early ´00s for us.

Late night listening sessions of hip hop from the past decade quickly turned into attempts of trying to identify the original songs that had been sampled. This, rather obviously, led to finding the exciting world of soul, jazz, and funk. Each sharpening the senses of appreciating composition and progression, the ability to focus on different instruments and the layers of melodies created by them.

„Future beats“ combines elements of all of these genres but not only.

Though the influence of a more electronic and bass heavy sound is also of great importance, it is not the defining element which explains „future“. The key is that we are not necessarily looking for a sound that takes us 50 or more years ahead of time.

Rather the opposite.

We look for something that talks to us right now, yet it needs to do so in a way that showcases new techniques and an ability to mix and match different genres. The ability to make something new and fresh in details carry its own weight.

As future beats first and foremost put the instrumentalist — the producer — on the forefront, you seek for a sound which in each separate case speaks to you simply on the strength of that unique creative energy by the person behind it.

And once again, you learn to seek for and appreciate the compositions, the progression, the layers of melodies and the personality and character which is artistically liberated in so many ways.

This is probably what struck us the most when we first came around the likes of „TaDaTa“ by Kaytranada or „Middle of Things, Beautiful Wife“ by Sango and SPZRKT.

Quickly catching off of that, we learned that the scene features a variety of talented producers but also a variety of vibes, as names such as Chloe Martini, Nehzuil, Stwo, and StarRo started to feature in our playlists on a routine basis. Each bringing a soulful touch, a soulful and emotionally vibrant soundscape. Something from their world — an explicit expression of feelings you could also sense in the titles of the tracks.

We do not see or hear „future beats“ as a genre per se right now but rather as a blend of the aforementioned others.

A blend that is built on the creative freedom of producers who do not submit their craft merely to the vocalists but also make sure that their own story and feelings get forwarded.

Paraphrasing the words of French music scholar Jules Combarieu, music is the art of thinking with sounds.

The yet evolving future beats scene features a lot of artists showcasing the best of that capability. So, not so much focused on taking us to what music might sound like decades from now, the „future“ rather symbolizes the youthful energy and creativity which is current and always still a step ahead of its time.

But it is nevertheless also able to remember you bits and bites from the earlier stages of your journey in music. So this is why the whole experience kind of feels like, to the future — and back.

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