Considering the countless times ‘IDM’ autocorrects to ‘EDM’ on Google search, it seems safe to assume that the genre isn’t a familiar face in the Indie music scene. With Future Literature, twenty-three-year-old Azamaan aka Azu Hoyvoy carves a safe space for his EBM/techno/industrial lexicon, under the generous home of Milkman Records.
Azu’s previous ventures—live tracks ‘KAZOO’ and ‘Taking Off’ and his EP E L F L released under Azamaan Hoyvoy—were largely influenced by shades of RnB, soul and jazz. At first listen, the latest release stands in massive contrast to them. When it comes to the unapologetic Future Literature, wide scapes of dark undertones and electro-industrial-break production define the primary mood. However, nuanced similarities can be seen between Azu’s older and newer explorations, in the controlled complexity, syncopations and rhythm choices of the acts.
In fact, the drastic shift in genre from Hoyvoy’s previous works isn’t much of a mystery after taking into consideration his tendency to make unique choices. There are short clips of him messing around with production techniques on Instagram, spread throughout the pandemic. Alongside, the general visual language uncovers a confident yet non-committal perspective, resonant with Azu’s extensive musical approach. He writes, “The beauty in every culture/ sound/community/person and how attractive it is, makes it hard to fall thoroughly in love with just one. One path. Consistency. One day… I will find u” Or maybe he won’t, and will continue on this expansive journey of his, touching new territory with every sonic venture.
All of this starts to make sense as the opener ‘Silent April’ fills the first breath of the EP with panned-out, drone-like bass, coupled with drums reminiscent of a sub DnB type. Somewhat of a drop is reached a minute into the track, featuring a buzzing electronic synth, followed by spooky, ghost-like vocals that may just be sampled from a horror flick. What’s interesting about the track (and the EP as a whole) is how thoughtfully samples from various sources are treated. They’re all hues and tints of the same sonic shade, such that even a minimal combination of any of them together, fills a bare scape plenty.
An instance of this technique can be heard in the bridge-equivalent of ‘Silent April’ (and its remixed counterpart by Drum Ani Bass, as well). It can be seen pouring into ‘Edge of Combville’ too, except, vocals use it this time. Conga-like, spacey microbeats are paired with a distorted synth to lay a brooding foundation to the track. Barely decipherable yet groovy, Azu’s distorted voice turns into catchy ad-libs before aggressively swirling us into a dark, dance-floor friendly trance.
The title track carries a promise of pure techno in the beginning, but soon gets taken over by something you’d never expect – samples from the Indian cinema. Dialogues, possibly some that a lot of us would recognize, are manipulated into husky and breath-heavy usables, imitating the popular ‘Indian-villain-voice’. Soaked in drama and disconcert, the twisted ways of ‘Future Literature’ somehow almost take us back to those parts of our childhood that we wish we didn’t remember. This, combined with a dance floor and blurry vision, and we have ourselves a noided fever dream in the works. No stranger to the pandemic era.
Times like these are when our curiosity about the post-apocalyptic world peaks and ‘Wellig Disco’ falls nothing short of a sweet comfort to this fantasy. Arguably the grooviest track on the EP, it features zombied melodies and skittering electronic drums, perfect for a dystopian nightclub. At this point, you want closure, and Azu’s ruthless vocal delivery holds you, prisoner, to a beat that promises redemption.
The final score of the 5-tracked EP closes with a remix of the opener ‘Silent April’, essentially a more dance-friendly, accessible version of the original. It features Drum ani Bass, the brainchild of bass player Nathan Thomas and drummer Dhir Mody. Industrious and intelligent, Future Literature is an amalgamation of quite a few influences, cultures, media and techniques. What the EP might lack in terms of accessibility, it makes up in the knowledge that it stands to be one of the only successful entry points into the genre mix, turning up the diversity notch in the independent music scene by a significant bit.
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