Since 2006, the project has grown in popularity, having gained audiences across the globe, sitting comfortably in the niche of synthwave and synth revival circles.
Iqbal, despite having had no previous musical experience, started experimenting with sound to bring back the charm of his youth and FUTURECOP! was born. Known for his collaborations, FUTURECOP! is back with his brand new album ‘Voltrana’, where more synthwave household names are present.
From ambient to spiritual, the album is full of surprises, all cinematically realigned to achieve a shiny retro gem which is bound to bring in the long awaited Spring.
Canada’s PARALLELS delight the album with Holly Dodson’s charming vocals and this opus welcomes back the synthwave princess copiously, starting with the sweet notions of ‘We Belong’. With a thoroughly modern approach interwoven with retro beats and scrumptious arpeggios, the track is a perfect intro to the colourful world of ‘Voltrana’.
Canada is followed the US with the clever changes of texture on ‘Star’, which welcomes COMPUTER MAGIC. New Yorker Danielle Johnson, the sole brains behind COMPUTER MAGIC has made it “big in Japan” thanks to her ethereal approach to vintage pop, often described as “cosmic”. And here, with FUTURECOP! she enters the realms of the otherworldly once again.
PARALLELS chase back again with the delicious ‘Leslie Cheung’, a tribute to the late much loved Cantopop star and actor. Dodson’s candied vocals bring an aura of childhood reminiscence over sugar coated melodies created as a fine example of modern dance music.
Going East, will Iqbal succeed in ‘Finding Shaolin’? Seemingly so, accompanied by heavier synth arpeggios and Moroder-esque templates, while ‘Breeze (Behind Waterfalls)’ eases the journey with the drum extravaganza leading the way further into the unknown.
PARALLELS return with the previously released single ‘Edge Of The Universe’.
“Inspired by a mix of 80s Japanese pop culture, eighties American Teen movies and Retro Space Adventure Japanese-Western cartoons” as described by Iqbal, the track is yet another easy listening beauty, inspiring peace and hope all the way “at the edge of the universe”.
Going back to the tender years of youth, ‘Forgotten Summer’ brings back the sounds and smells of the pivotal formative era, while Ayumi Sasaki joins FUTURECOP! on ‘Shinjinmei’; ‘信心銘’ is a sweet acoustic flavoured ballad, filled with nostalgic emotion that weaves in and out of J-Pop awareness.
Continuing the nod to eastern cultures ‘Zen 4040’, ‘Whispers of Tao’ and ‘Only From Mud (Can A Flower Bloom)’ enter the higher consciousness of pictorial qualities.
PARALLELS feature one more time on the delightful ‘This Moment Forever’, before the German princess of pop NINA finds herself as one of the family on ‘Fade Away’.
Comfortably at home alongside PARALLELS with whom she toured the US last year, NINA brings a calmer quality into the mix, not too dissimilar from the “mellow Magic” on Magic Radio.
The final collaboration comes from SIAMESE YOUTH, a synthwave duo from Berlin, also in form of a more demure offering, calming the senses and smoothing the rough with delicate melodies and soothing vocals.
The return of FUTURECOP! is a grand one. Twinning with the cream of synthwave artists from around the globe, this Eastern-inspired proposition helps to bring back the days of youth with charm, poise and melancholy.
Not all happy go lucky, yet uplifting and hopeful, ‘Voltrana’ is the perfect easy listening positive affirmation. Namaste.
Text by Monika Izabela Trigwell
25th March 2019