Near Future – Ideal Home
LP / CD / DL
25 May 2018
Neil Arthur and Bernholz release their debut long player.Mikey Bailey reviews for Louder Than War.
From the deft and electronically assured minds of Bernholz and Neil Arthur comes Ideal Home,a sharp and sparkling album of futuristic beauty.Or is it a darkly horrific analysis of the shape of things to come for the human race? The opening and title title Ideal Home begins with a quite unnerving and searing note.The lyrics are as unsettling,asking at one point, “Should I be full of regret for wanting things I do not have?” Clearly a question that plenty of people ask themselves every day.
Near Future make us glance at ourselves in an inquisitive,almost unearthly way.It is like being analysed by a robot version of ourselves,coldly digging away at all of the little secrets that we bury deep within our souls. It is a sound that comes from the future and the past.Simple,minimal and brilliantly frightening.
Field This takes on the baton and retains a steady and disturbing rhythm of doom filled beats and haunting vocals. The choice of samples and sound effects is stripped and perfect throughout this entire collection.They have not only made us look at ourselves but given us an insight into their hearts and minds too. It sounds familiar because it is. It is about us all. Everyone washes up. Everyone gets fed up. Everyone gets pegged down by the daily drudge. Everyone gets Overwhelmed.
There is a sonic lushness to Ideal Home.At times it is lyrically comforting while somehow managing to also be musically angular and cold.It reminds us what it is like to be warmly welcomed and harshly rejected at the same time.
It is an electronic masterpiece that reflects not only the state of the nation but where it seems to be heading.Near Future have wielded a huge mirror at humanity with this album,it is now up to us what we do next.
Neil Arthur’s staunch and fluid voice is the blood flowing through Bernholz’ machines.The pairing and tightness of this duo is inspired and sumptuous.
An Ideal Home is what we have been led to believe that we should be toiling for and Near Future have brought us a shining example of what we can attain if we wish to dedicate our lives to the machine of life.
Pre-order the Ideal Home on Bandcamp here.
All words by Mikey Bailey via Paul Scott-Bates. More of Paul’s writing on Louder Than War can be found at his author’s archive. Paul’s website is hiapop and you can follow him on Twitter as @hiapop, and on Facebook here.