Review: Hashman Deejay's Future Times debut, Tangerine, was something of an overlooked gem - an exotic, melodious gem that pinned Tangerine Dream style electronics to a restless techno groove. This surprise debut album has a similarly dreamy feel, even if the techno side of his output has been tamed a little. Instead, we get a range of eyes-wide-shut compositions that variously touch on Mood Hut style deep house ("Mercury"), ultra-deep electronica (the odd beats, spacey noises and relentless chords of "Mozaic"), swinging, Max D style drum workouts (the rich bass, dubbed-out synths and loose house grooves of "184"), trip-hop style downtempo beats "Statues PF"), and thrillingly loose, new age house anthems ("Xssential-3").
Review: Though largely overlooked, drummer-turned-producer's Jeremy Hyman's 2016 debut on Future Times was something of an exotic, far-sighted treat. The release's genius lay in Hyman's ability to wrap pots-and-pans percussion hits around kaleidoscopic synth lines and thrusting dancefloor drums. The same could be said about this superb follow-up, which pairs the hybrid ambient-exotica of "Slide" - all deep space electronics, loose-and-layered percussion and mind-altering synth-bass - with the similarly inclined (if deeper and even more pleasingly wayward) "Madness". More straightforward dancefloor thrills are provided by the drifting, tactile and enveloping deep house/ambient house/jazz-funk fusion of closing cut "Tinted Mirror". In summary: superb stuff from a producer whose time has surely come.
Review: Those who've paid attention to Jordan GCZ's career will tell you that he's an intergalactic kind of guy, with his varied discography featuring a number of suitably stargazing solo or collaborative releases. It's this side of his musical persona that he explores on new Future Times outing "Space Songs". Sitting somewhere between synthesizer-powered jazz-funk, quirky electronica, off-kilter deep house and outer-space techno, the five assembled tracks are colourful, inventive and deliciously hard to pigeonhole. We're particularly enjoying the epic broken techno-goes-jazz jam "Half Time" and the seductively shimmering, Spacetime Continuum-esque wonder that is "Prodigi", but to be honest the whole EP is inspired.
Review: Boost is Future Times boss man Andrew Field-Pickering's third solo album under his familiar Max D alias and the seven tracks stand up as a fine example of the musical freedom currently running through the DC-based artist's veins. Like us, you've probably played the crushing, freeform 808 cruncher "Rhythm Operator" to death on the FT SoundCloud but we are happy to report the other six tracks are just as daring! As impressive as previous long players for RAMP and RVNG were, Boost feels bolder, a fuller expression of Field-Pickering's undoubted musical talent and less beholden to any particular dancefloor trope. Mood Hutter Jack J, Jordan GCZ, Motion Graphics and Benedek all contribute to Boost, but what really shines through is Max D's beaming smile behind those drum machines. Ps we hope this album is named after our favourite chocolate bars!
Review: Given their role in shaping the sound of Washington DC's Future Times label at the tail end of the last decade, it's arguably about time that Protect-U - aka FT co-owner Mike Petillo and pal Aaron Leitko - delivered their debut album. For those familiar with Future Times' kaleidoscopic fusions of analogue drum machine rhythms, vibrant synthesizers and new age melodies, Free USA will make exciting listening. It's as vivacious as you'd expect, joining the dots between the hissing, dreamy, scattergun explorations of Maxmillion Dunbar, the intense dancefloor fuzziness of the L.I.E.S. label, and the intoxicating fluidity of Vancouver's Mood Hut crew. In other words, it's a joy to listen to, flitting between jacking dancefloor electronica and hazy ambient bliss.
Review: Future Times has been on fire of late, delivering must-have released from Max D (the delicious Boost full-length) and Will DiMaggio (the synth-gasm that is "Fusion (Broadcast Mix)"). Predictably, this is another fine EP to add to the collection. It comes from Jason "Steve Summers" Letkiewicz, and marks his first appearance under the Rhythm Based Lovers alias for seven years. "Frequency Illusion" offers a near perfect fusion of dense-but-loose drum machine percussion, chiming deep house melodies, and the undulating synth bass of classic New York electrofunk. "Number Games", meanwhile, is an altogether deeper, drowsier and more cosmic affair, with horizontal electronics stretching out over a sweaty, pitched-down groove.
Sir E.U & Max D - "Brand New Bag" - (4:32) 127 BPM
Sir E.U & Max D - "Timeism" - (10:19) 125 BPM
Review: Next up on Washington DC based Future Times is local rapper/hip-hop producer Sir E.U. aka Chris Scott, who has been producing since 2016 under aliases such as Ebuku, King Hippo/Hippodramadan or Ripaviondramida - among other tongue twisting pseudonyms. Featuring jittery Afro house joint "Ocean" (prod. Dolo Percussion), next he joins the dots between hip-hop, deep house and tropical aesthetics on "Brand New Bag" which is produced by label boss Max D - who also assists on the chilled-out and blunted urban swagger of Timeism" up next.
Grape - "Up The Dubs" (feat The Wino Boys) - (5:25) 84 BPM
Raica - "Makmba" - (3:54) 82 BPM
Beautiful Swimmers - "Primo" - (5:44) 99 BPM
Edy Alta - "First Sign Of Artifice" - (6:17) 136 BPM
Protect-U - "Krums" - (6:00) 132 BPM
Jeremy Hyman - "Machine Stops" - (5:37) 132 BPM
Shanti Celeste - "Strung Up" - (5:43) 129 BPM
Dawit & Dolo - "Knowledge Body" - (6:37) 133 BPM
Steve Summers - "Shimmer" - (1:56) 81 BPM
DSR.MR - "Crystal Jungle" - (6:19) 128 BPM
C'est Life - "New Years Day 2013" - (4:43) 120 BPM
Review: Originally released in 2015 on wax but now finally available on digital, Future Times expanded the sound and vision of the label with part three in their compilation series. It's an all star cast on here, with the compilation opening with the dynamic killer "Junk Funk" by DC newcomer OV then Israel's finest Juju & Jordash with "Soggy Bottom" next where they get their hypnotic piano throb on. Label boss Max D's "Octopus" follows with an improvised, kinetic bang. Elsewhere label stalwarts Beautiful Swimmers serve up "Primo", a thick chunk of industrial pop for the freaks and of course BRSTL boss Shanti Celeste and her monster cut "Strung Up", a savage tune for the deejays that mixes a bit of her home town with classic electro.
Review: Washington DC-based label Future Times operate on electronic music's more leftfield fringes - previous compilations have, for instance, featured early appearances by the likes of Hunee and Shanti Celeste - and here, for their landmark 50th release, they serve up a 23-track compilation that will appeal to the musically adventurous and sonically broad-minded. For deep house lovers, Martyn & Dolo Percussion's dubby 'Misfit City Rolling', Baronhawk's jazzy 'Phickle Pickle' and the (very) off-kilter disco of Garies' 'Don Bongo' would be good places to start; the space-age footwork/electro of Greg Beato's 'Peste' is interesting too, even if some of more out-there cuts may prove a tad too experimental for some...
Review: Two years have passed since Jaw Jam man Will Dimaggio made his first appearance on Future Times with "Fusion (Broadcast Mix)", a single-track EP on vinyl, rich in kaleidoscopic jazz-funk synths, rubbery electric bass and the kind of sweaty, off-kilter drum machine programming that's always been a trademark of the Washington, D.C-based label. On this fine debut album, Dimaggio continues in a similar vein, mixing polyrhythmic, intergalactic jazz-funk workouts with deeper and even more loved-up house cuts, almost all of electronics which also come blessed with the producer's trademark synthesizer solos, colourful and playful, glassy-eyed chords. While there are few genuine surprises, there's no denying the vivid attractiveness of Dimaggio's aural world, making At Ease an album you'll want to revisit time and time again.