In conversation with Futurecop!
Interview by Shannon Lawlor
Futurecop! – Manchester-based cinematic, dream-synth inspired electronic project led my musicians and producers Manzur Iqbal and Peter Carrol have graced the ever-growing synthwave community since 2005, bringing their own new-wave daydream-drenched brand of nostalgic pop to higher grounds, touring extensively and releasing grail after grail.
Beyond an impressive back catalogue of numerous EPs and singles, Futurecop! have recruited similarly like-minded musicians and producers to remix their work such as Lifelike, Pony Pony Run Run, Anamanaguchi, Strange Talk and Teen Daze, to name a few. Futurecop’s latest album Return to Alvograth was met with widely positive reviews, embracing the slight shift in direction. On April 27, Aztec Records will release a 20-track compilation titled Pure Synthwave Vol.1, curated by electronic songstress NINA, featuring genre-favourites VHS Dreams, Oscillian, Sunglasses Kid and of course, Futurecop!.
We caught up with Manzur Iqbal of Futurecop! on his diary of emotions and the upcoming Pure Synthwave compilation:
For anyone foreign to Futurecop’s dream-like collage of nostalgia, how would you personally describe the music you produce?
A story of discovery into life, faith, it’s mysteries and our own inner universe.
Futurecop’s latest album Return to Alvograth was released in 2017 via New Retro Wave. Could you detail this recording session, and how it may have differed in ethos and principal to previous albums?
Well it was very different. Most probably because as an artist my perspectives and the way I look at life have also evolved, which fundamentally fed the music and it’s atmosphere. It was a very personal record and I wanted no restrictions, so in many ways it is unconventional, so there is no standard song structure – it’s almost as though it is a soundtrack or collection of sounds and ideas.
Futurecop! has been enlisted by synthwave-queen NINA to feature on the upcoming compilation Pure Synthwave Vol. 1 for Aztec Records. What are you most excited for about this release? And how did your contribution “La Foi En L’eau ft LGHTNNG” first come to light?
It was great to be asked and we respect the the bands on the compilation, especially NINA, who we played with a few weeks ago. The song actually started as a track we produced for a film (The Path to Totality), which recently got chosen for the Cannes Film Festival this year. Then we came across a really cool band called LGHTNNG and they loved the track, and so we changed it around for them to add vocals onto it.
Inspired by whimsy and fantasy, like films such as The NeverEnding Story and Transformers, musically, where do Futurecop! usually like to seek inspiration from when composing?
Life I would say, when I look back all the albums, they are like a diary of growing up and emotions I felt. Whether it is nostalgia, darkness, mysticism or spirituality. Trying to discover the real essence of life’s mystery, I think is the best way to put it.
Could you detail the meaning, or influence surrounding the track “Tonite’s Hero”?
Ah, one of the first tracks I made – I’m surprised you know it! Well, looking back I think I just tried to create a track that had all the elements of a fantasy sci-fi retro film with a chorus that you could dance to.
Futurecop! are widely recognized for working with prestigious artists on remixes and collaborations – but if you could choose that one dream collaboration, who would it be with, and why?
Joe Hisiahi, Enya, Lisa Gerrard, Vangelis, Mone Kamishiraishi.
If Futurecop! could perform anywhere in the world, where would it be, and why?
Remote areas of places like Bhutan, Tibet, Bali or Japan. That would be a dream, to be asked, and knowing there is a demand in such areas.
Care to name some of Futurecop’s personal favourite releases of the year so far?
You know what; I actually tend to discover new music from the past, so it might be old to you, but new to me. Like Bruce Hornsby’s Every Little Kiss, Radmwimp’s Nandemonaiya, B. Kudanowski’s Paperman, Vangelis’ Five Circles, The Wind Forest by Mari Fujiwara, Enigma’s Return to Innocence, Lisa Gerrard’s Now We Are Free. I play this music on a continuous basis! I really admire new synthwave music from Anoraak, New Arcades, Parallels, Timecop1983, By An Ion, and Lifelike – who are all good friends too!
What does the future hold for Futurecop!?
We’re working on a new album, and nearly done. I’m also in talks with with designers and video directors too. Really cool concept, can’t say too much now, it’s a surprise. Also, gigs in Berlin and London coming soon. Our management is organising a US and Australia tour, and all will be announced shortly on our Instagram /FuturecopOfficial. So lots of activity. It’s great to receive a lot of attention recently, hopefully we will use this energy to create amazing music and great shows!
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