Music Reviews
Images Du Futur

Suuns Images Du Futur

(Secretly Canadian) Buy it from Insound Rating - 8/10

Hervé Fischer wrote of his electronic and digital art showcase, Images Du Futur, as being ‘an exploration of the unknown.’ At the time, 1985, digital art was largely shunned by conventional critics, but Fischer with his Co-founder, Ginette Major, eventually established a collection, which he said was "truly representative of the eighties and nineties...an age of adventure that was sometimes uncertain but always passionate.’"

Almost three decades since that "age of adventure", we seem as uncertain of the future as ever. Music, and art in general, has an extraordinarily uncanny ability not to be cajoled in a certain direction or other. By placing their second record next to Images Du Futur, the art collection, Suuns presumably value or align themselves in some way with the values which Fischer’s project stood for.

Suuns’ music isn’t as obviously revolutionary as electronic and digital art were to their medium, but their aesthetic certainly strikes for a change: for movement towards a different form expression relevant to the generation which it represents. Images Du Futur has a long temporal distance to travel before we can make such conclusions about its representative value of the decade or of the generation, but it’s a sound which could be a subtly defining one.   

The paradoxical irony of making a musical statement nowadays is that it can’t be a statement at all. Punk will never be surmounted in terms of its instantly gratifying sound, directly representative of a movements’ passion. So instead, musicians now have to tend to the subtle and subversive. Images Du Futur isolates a minimal approach with strange notes that linger in nooks, pock-marked and misshapen.  Their amalgamation of indie and electronica is by no means revolutionary in itself, but their form of guitar infused music is an important one.

Suuns commit the ultimate ‘band’ faux-pas and use the guitar as an enhancement of the sound rather than an extension of the players’ genitalia a la Slash, etc. They decimate that preconception, reverting back to jazz precepts of adding depth; and when prominent being unspectacular. That ought not to be a derogatory assessment. It refreshes the palate to hear single notes that offer a tantalising shape of expression, which allows the listener to work for their interpretation.

Uncertain but always passionate’ also describes the vocal style succinctly. The hazy ambiguity, with its willingness to remain obscure - akin to early Syd Barrett excerpts – is similarly affective. Perhaps this speaks of Suuns’ vision of a future hybridity of sounds, and an accentuated lack of clarity where the rudimentary is more emotive than the virtuoso.

Fischer also said, ‘Even the future inevitably grows old,’ and as Images Du Futur’s newly born sheen fades, the ambiguous nature of its construction will surely clarify. They aren’t trying to impress per se, but simply expressing as they themselves naturally express - inevitably procuring reference points on the way. But as they mature, Suuns may well be appreciated as seminally as the art project to which their precious album shares its name.