March 12, 2020 on RateYourMusic.
Release: Cyberfunk (VANTAGE, 2016)
I had never thought too much about the "future" part of future funk's name. Maybe it fits in some ways. City pop, synth funk, disco and more is pulled out of the past, out of 70s and 80s Japan, is slipped into a future decades later. The use of samples from the past, often with a disregard for the law, embodies the information age's entropic way of bringing all information closer and closer to freedom all time.
But regardless of what deeper meanings we can read into future funk's name, very little has a distinctly futuristic sound. Cyberfunk stands apart. It puts a lot more blatant "future" into the mix than I've heard in the genre before, despite ultimately being more future funk-infused house than pure future funk. Overlaying colder, darker house that brings to mind an equally cold, dark future with all the delicious trappings of future funk, in just 15 minutes Vantage captures the optimism we need to face the sometimes unbearably frightening, uncertain future and do something about it rather than giving up hope. I can't think of anything that better encapsulates the idealist's young adulthood in this moment than sampling and splicing a robotic explanation of mankind's complicated relationship with the future and a perfectly generic YouTube guy's perfectly generic game review, savoring funky beats while we still have time on this dark planet and want a minute to breathe and experience and live in between dystopic visions of the future.