It is often a heartening affair when instruments are brought back to the forefront of electronic music; it is even more impressive when the music is designed for live execution with a band, merging the dying domain of rockstardom with today's digital aesthetic. Accordingly, Zoogma's A Future In Blue album is on an all-American offensive of a so-called "future blues" sound to bring the soul of live instrumentation to electronic musical styles. The band certainly meets that objective, eloquently unleashing around 40-minutes of professionally-produced Memphis/Mississippi blues, funk, and electronica.
The 10-track LP is also worthy of praise as it takes a variety of approaches to the songs; while the considerable bulk of the album is comprised of high-octane bangers, tracks like "A Future in Blue," "Down and Outer Space," "Come At Me Dobro," and "Man on the Moonshine" embody the organic heart-stricken sun-soaked space rock ambiance of the South, reverberating like heat refraction in the lee of a mirage.
Overall, by injecting instrumentation into their core philosophy and reconnecting modern music with its roots, Zoogma are challenging the 'electronic' music tag and pushing it towards a timeless attitude. Sure, this also has its limitations; for example, it's not easy to do complex modern bedroom-crafted basslines live and in a home listening situation, the synthesis style on this album may not satisfy the ears of today's sound-design-hungry experimentalists. However, if you are not seeking a reinvention of the wheel into a mag-lev gyroscope, and can be content with a master-crafted 19" chrome wheel of a Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham with aluminium alloy rims, your future is blue.
For fans of Gramatik, Dirtwire, Michal Menert and the Adapted Records label.
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