For the first time since 2009, the third and final part of Leyland Kirby’s hauntological masterpiece Sadly, The Future Is No Longer What It Was is available on vinyl again. The synthetic lustre of Memories Live Longer Than Dreams already appeared deliciously cracked and damaged the first time around, and in 2017 its phosphorescent glow remains a beacon of shelter for contemplation and secluded mind-drift, offering a surreal, nostalgic night-light to the gloomy and confused world it diagnosed and predicted nearly ten years ago.
Written during James Leyland Kirby’s forlorn purgatorial years spent in Berlin during the period which shaped the modern world as we know it - a time when global financial institutions collapsed, YouTube’s all-encompassing archive was beginning to spill over, and Facebook and Twitter were starting to enmesh the entire planet - this final instalment finds Kirby channelling osmotically absorbed visions of the future, as spelt out by Vangelis, Lynch & Badalamenti, Brian Eno and Kirby’s own The Caretekar alter ego, into a waking dream sequence of quietly anguished sound poems for the contemporary echo chamber, relinquishing a traversal of the hive mind’s private fears and shared nightmares rendered in ghostly scrolls of synth noise and sweepingly emotive cinematic gestures.
It effectively diagnoses a sort of cultural malaise that was perhaps embryonic in 2009, as the golden age of dance/pop form and optimism which resulted in radical acts such as V/Vm and the Ccru was now left shimmering in the rearview, with the momentous energy of its accumulated, independent scenes being diffused into institutions or calcifying into hyper commercialism;- leaving little or no room for ambiguity, irony or subversively socialist thought within its increasingly binary wake; a wake which has now bifurcated into extreme left and right-leaning politics with a gulf of misunderstanding in between.
Keening and reeling away his own thoughts on the matter in that interzone of negative space, Kirby draws on ever tightening coils of cultural feedback loops and the infidelity of memory to parse, process and secrete a slow, plasmic ooze of melancholic musical form that perhaps best represents the feelings of our age; of our shared future occluded by an inglorious or illusive past that promised much, yet never paid up.