Zombi: Escape Velocity
If you ever wanted a guide on how to do and criticise retro-futurism at the same time then let the cover of Zombi’s Escape Velocity show you the way.
I mean, look at it. There’s the DeLorean car with its wing-like doors aloft taking you back to a future when a car tried to symbolise the imminent dawning of mass space travel. Or, alternatively, there’s an icon of another high-profile failed capitalist venture that left thousands of Belfast residents unemployed and signalled the start of a heinous decade of repression and misery for millions. And then there’s the sculpted body jogging its way off and away from, through an echo of itself, some abstracted landscape to a generic perfected future where clothes are a ridiculous burden of yesteryear. Or, there’s a figure disappearing to a world of gyms as prisons and corporeal fascism. Or, there’s another anonymous female torso whose gaze will never meet yours save it causes discomfort and flaccidity, and anyway if we could see her face her eyes would inevitably be coyly shielded by a Farrah Fawcett flick that somehow was or is meant to be ‘sexy’.
Whether the cover is pastiche or homage is difficult to gauge, but the fit with the music is seamless. Rolling SF and Moroder-esque synths meet, on the best tracks, thumping live drums, with grandiose melodies lines that sweep you up, up and away to that place where we live only for pleasure and we’re free, oh so free. Or it’s another in the current crop of vintage synth albums that are blinkered to the fact that the late 70s and early 80s, whilst musically crucial, were often drab and shit and fucking grey.
As I write, I’m trying to be less cynical about the world (it won’t last) so I’ll plump for the former. Get your utopian yearnings of times gone by here.