Futurist

The Futurist scene, such as it was, is very hard to pin down, even more so than goth. Essentially, though, it was a short-lived media-defined musical scene centred around avant-garde electronic music. It's worth mentioning here as there was some degree of musical crossover with the emerging goth scene.

The "Futurist" tag appeared in September 1980, as follows:

From George Gimarc's Post-Punk Diary for Monday September 15 1980:

STEVO the DJ at Billy's club and general provider of the soundtrack to the new scene brewing in the electronic underground, has his top 20 current records list published in Sounds under the heading "Futurist Playlist". Top tracks are Joy Division "Isolation", Gary Numan and "I Die You Die", Bowie's "Ashes to Ashes", Bauhaus with "Terror Couple Kill Colonel" and Gina X and "Do It Yourself". At #6 is Fad Gadget and "Fireside Favourite", B-Movie with "Soldier Stood Still", Gary Numan's "Aircrash Bureau" and "Telekon", and a demo from Blancmange of "I've Seen The Word". Other groups present are Modern English, Pere Ubu, Throbbing Gristle, Human League, YMO, Iggy Pop and Last Dance. Several months from now Stevo will confess to the NME that "...the tag Futurist is a bunch of crap. I took a chart of the most popular electronic music I was playing as a DJ into Sounds and said to them 'put it in but don't call it 'Eurorock' or anything like that'. I grab hold of the paper a week later and it says 'Futurist'. I hate all this stopid tagging."

Despite Stevo's disclaimer, "Futurist" was seen by some as a useful tag for an emerging movement, and there were actually "Futurist" nights at some nightclubs. The movement was seen by some as an avant-garde version of/reaction to the "pop" New Romantic scene, with the most important bands being John Foxx-era Ultravox and Gary Numan. However, the movement seems to have suffered from the lack of a coherent identity and never became a subculture as such.

The tag, however, became popular for a while- in an interview in Sounds in January 1981, Blancmange denied being Futurist ("I'm not a Futurist. I hate that word. What we do is more like experimental new music") whilst Depeche Mode laid claim to the term in an attempt to evade a worse one ("OK, we're Futurists. We've always been Futurists. For me, Futurusts were an extension of punk rock. We never had anything to do with New Romantics. They all looked the same. Bunch of flaming sissies! But call us what you like. Ultra pop. Fiturist, Disco. Anything so long as it's  not New Romantic").

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