Versatile Records is a longstanding imprint which has been responsible for the release of some of the most innovative, expressive electronic music in recent years. However, it has never been a label to fall kindly into one particular niche or category. This is perhaps best showcased through the release of a new six track EP built upon playful experimentation, friendship and quick wit.
Bright Future is a new group made up of label founder Gilb'r, Satoshi and Abel - three friends from Amsterdam who stumbled into producing music together, the result being their debut on the label. It's a wonderful mix of krautrock, electronica, acid, ddowntempo and beyond all squeezed together into one compact package which sounds rough, ready and yet a hell of a lot of fun.
We asked the collective to take us through the story behind each track and they do so in good form, alongside a sneaky premiere of a track from the new release.
Gilbert: A synth is a source of wonders, and it’s always great to see people having fun with it and tune their souls into moving knobs, reacting to the sound - especially when they are not specialists of LFO’s and sub-oscillators. Up until then I had only shared hangovers and music with Abel, so I was stunned when he hit the Juno 60 with such frenetic majesty. Basically the only thing I needed to do was press “record”.
Abel: Gilbert had set up the Juno for me in such a way that even a monkey playing it would have made it sound good.
Gilbert: This is the first track we made together. When we hit the studio, our friend Jorge Velez was hanging around. We put our heads together to come up with a concept for the track, realizing that everyone had a different native language. To leap at the opportunity of this fact, we built the lyrics using the cadavre exquis method. We all threw in some words which dealt with the theme of being a stranger or foreigner. We all translated those words in our own language and everyone got to say someone else’s words. Jorge did the Japanese ones and also did some synth work.
What we need to say
Abel: This was recorded during our second stint in the studio. Apart from Gilbert, we never get to hang around in a recording studio that much, so we wanted to take full advantage. Sometimes you've just got to aim high, and having seen our mutual hero Marvin Gaye performing vocals laying down on the ground, we decided to do the same. In doing so we tried to create a laid-back and relaxed atmosphere to contrast with the frenzied and varied musical backing.
Sick of this world
Abel: We recorded this EP well before the COVID-19 outbreak. Back then we had been discussing the whole ‘business techno’ thing, and I wrote some lyrics about my disillusionment with the club scene. Satoshi, in a flash of visionary genius, twisted my original lyric ‘Sick of this crowd’ to ‘Sick of this world’. We all thought that was way more to the point, and we decided to sing the chorus together. As none of us are singers, the rest of the vocals turned into what can be loosely described as rap. Because I have the least heavy accent, it was decided that I was to do it. After I completed the lyrics I laid the whole thing down in one go.
Satoshi: When I arrived in the studio I was pretty annoyed, having to go through the busy streets of Amsterdam’s Red Light area. I got inspiration from getting upset by seeing the vast masses of people looking for dim witted entertainment and vulgarity. I came up with ‘Sick of this world’ and we decided to take the track into a dirty/sleazy direction so it would really fit the aggravated feeling of the lyrics. We were pretty much done after 2 or 3 hours of recording. I think somehow this track was a message sent back from the future, since the world is not the same anymore and we are all sick of this.
Sick of this world Dub
Gilbert: Amazed by its powerful anthemic message, I wanted to make an ode to this track and decided to make a Dub version. Our good friend Diego Herrera contributed some blistering keyboard work on it.
Satoshi: In a blacked out studio me and Gilbert were sitting in front of the Juno and I spontaneously started to play some keys. Gilbert added some eccentric electric drums and it didn’t take long before we were both swept away and in a zone. Before we knew it we had ended up playing this mad funk odyssey for over 10 mins. We cut the whole thing down to 1:30 mins in the end, but maybe someday the original version might still see the light of day.
Buy the release HERE.
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