When I feature music on this site, I frequently refer to albums as “listening experiences” as opposed to just a collection of tracks. I think this is an important distinction to make – music is created as an art to appreciate, enjoy, and be inspired by, not just a utility to be consumed and discarded. Different artists aim to create different types of these “experiences” with their music. In the case of Ben Lukas Boysen, his new album Gravity was created as a deeply personal, meditative experience. Brian Setzer’s The Dirty Boogie was more of an upbeat swing experience to inspire dancing and grooving. This is a foundational aspect of music, and part of what makes it so beautiful: incredible diversity in both style and intent. So today, we’ll be looking at an artist with a whole new philosophy behind his music. That artist is David Krantz, more commonly known as Futexture.
Futexture is one of those artists who is able to make electronic music sound like a true extension of his mind and body, as if he were playing it in real time like any other instrumentalist. This is a remarkable achievement, considering the challenges that “robot music” has posed to its innovators when compared to traditional live musicianship. With Futexture, however, there is no lack of creativity or authenticity. None of his music sounds like a groove that’s been copied and pasted several times in succession. I have this mental image of artists like this creating and manipulating their music with their mind, willing each individual sound or timbre to move in correlation with the others. Although that may seem like an idealistic notion (or is it?), the point here is that Futexture’s sounds completely natural, enough so to inspire such a lofty vision.
In April 2012, his first album, The Science of How Things Unfold, was released on Afro Monk Records. With it comes a generous portion of experimental electronic music, downtempo grooves, and IDM (intelligent dance music). Futexture is a tremendously forward-thinking artist, and this creativity shines through in his art. Many people would describe his sound as “future bass” music. If genre labels are a nuisance to you, then let me break it down. His music is characterized by a number of different elements: eclectic percussion and funky beats, trippy-sounding synth pad undulation, smooth sub-bass motion, and incredibly clean production effects.
To me, one of the most distinct attributes of Futexture’s music is that the combination of stereo percussion and fluidly modulating bass lines has the perceived effect of actually massaging your eardrums. If you can imagine one of those massaging chairs that you sit in for ages at the store without any intention of buying it (or is that just me?), it’s essentially the aural equivalent of that sensation. This is not music that you would listen to when you want to hear anthemic songs. In truth, these tracks are not songs at all – they’re most accurately classified as sonic experiences.
Now, I’m not normally one to pull extended quotes from other sources instead of writing about things myself, but David Krantz did a fantastic interview Sparkleberry Lane last year that gives a more revealing look into his approach to music than I could hope to convey:
“Textures are patterns. Everything we experience in life is pattern-based at its core. All matter and energy is vibration at a specific frequency in a specific pattern, and the aggregates of those patterns form larger patterns and so on and so forth. For example, quarks and gluons have specific patterns that make up atoms, those atoms have a specific pattern they form in to create molecules. The pattern of those molecules makes up the structure of a crystal, and pattern of the growth distribution of those crystals makes a pocket or vein in the earth’s crust. In the same sense, the pattern of vibrating compression waves in air creates specific sounds and frequencies. The pattern of those frequencies creates melody and rhythm, and the pattern of overlapping melody and rhythm creates harmony. The arrangement of these harmonies, melodies, and rhythms creates music. Thoughts are patterns, feelings are patterns, matter is patterns, energy is patterns. The perception these interwoven patterns allows us to understand is the texture of our existence.”
The artist’s namesake is a portmanteau of “future” and “texture,” and when we think about it that way it absolutely makes sense. Krantz’s music is highly texture-based, as he talks about above, and the textures that he is creating are years ahead of his time, foreshadowing future developments in music. If this is even just a small taste of things to come, then I am incredibly excited to see how things unfold.