Noche Futura: Sprinkling the World with ‘Synthpop en Español’
Translated from Spanish by Rico Noguchi
Sometimes referred to as the ‘Pet Shop Boys Latinos’, Rico Noguchi gets Noche Futura to talk about their debut album and the inspiration behind their music videos.
Rico: You guys have released three music videos from your debut album “Sinfonía Cósmica del Mar” while a fourth one is currently in production, correct? With a pool of thirteen songs to choose from, how do you decide which ones will make it onto video?
Julio: We choose what videos we’ll make depending on how we’re progressing, and there’s also our intuition: when we see there are rich images to develop, we come to an agreement and start working on that. José and I rely a lot on what we feel and we usually end up ‘flying’ in that direction.
José: I think the selection is both filial and instinctive, for it is true that like a father or mother the love for their children is equal, through that same love we try to give a video to all our songs, yet such undertaking is difficult in its logistics and the amount of energy and time they demand. So we decide in relation to how the songs were created or the time in which they were produced. For example, Arbol was our very first recording and after that we did the video for Noche Futura, yet between these songs, two other tracks were created (Angeles del Medio Oriente and Volaré); and in between the videos for Noche Futura and Dulce Fantasía, we came up with Shopping Cart and Al Lado de un Hombre. In addition to that, while the videos for Se que Tú and Medusa were in production, we recorded Mi Alma Animal and Enzo en el Mar. Medusa is the latest video from our record and we may, perhaps, make other videos for other songs of the album, not just for the love we have for them but in order to bring to full circle the messages and expressions put forth in every song, melody, interpretation, etc.
R: Your songs are all in Spanish while you guys are based in Los Angeles. Are your fans, geographically, located mainly in the United States?
José: They are largely in the Spanish-speaking world. We have friends and followers from Spain to Chile, covering distances from Argentina to Mexico. Curiously we yet have to conquer the great Spanish-speaking public of the U.S., but that’s how things are, where we live is where we are known the least.
Julio: Like José mentioned, there’s a lot of folks that listen to us from around the globe; the large majority come from Latin America and Spain; people that know us through social media and thanks to the independent movement of electronic music in Spanish. In truth, talking to people and making friends with other bands in our same genre is very gratifying, it’s the way in which we come together to create a larger music community of Synthpop in Spanish.
R: In Sé que Tú, your most recent video, both of you became “Samurai” warriors. As Peruvians that we are, accustomed to the use and transformation of the ‘foreign’ into creative property; what do you guys think of the dilemma of ‘cultural appropriation’?
José: I think the ‘cultural appropriation’ in our case, is more a ‘cultural borrowing’ in order to make art and create the story of two samurai who fight for the love of a geisha. On the other hand, it has to do with where we live and in that sense, Julio and I have been living here in the U.S. for over a decade between New York and Los Angeles, which are amongst the most cosmopolitan cities of the world. We have camouflaged with other cultures, Jewish, Korean or Japanese for example, and part of our art is enriched by this simple coexistence and absorption.
Julio: It’s true, Sé que Tú is the latest video we‘ve shared withe everyone, and we’ve certainly used a Japanese influence as artistic theme for the video. Like my musical partner Jose says, we have not appropriated anything, on the contrary, we are inspired by the (Japanese) aesthetics and we combine it with our own artistic vision. If you look carefully, we look like samurai, but our costumes have been made mixing traditional garments with pop and glam tastes, so we could speak of a combination of textures and color and why not, of energy as well, which allows us to express ourselves better in the projection of our songs.
R: In Arbol, the visual platform, the root of the video, is a beautiful and innocent world based on Julio’s genius graphic designs; in Dulce Fantasía, you deal with the illusion of desire over a ‘new wave’ beat that takes me back to the nightclubs of Lima in the 80’s. How much does ‘nostalgia’ influence your creative process?
José: Nostalgia is a vital element in songs like Arbol, which I wrote thinking of the childhood friends I lost as time passed, but that I trust, regardless of the years gone by, that we keep on dreaming each other, we think, remember and search for each other until we meet again to continue being the friends we once were. The song talks about a beautiful world as experienced by two or more people, which time and distance has forced us to stop seeing. It’s strong roots, however, will never die.
Julio: Nostalgia is part of us, we cannot avoid it. We have the spirit of the 80’s and all that cultural and musical explosion of that period marked us for life. Independently, each one of us finds inspiration in many things and by expressing ourselves in any of its forms, nostalgia comes to light even when we try to disguise it. Perhaps that’s why our audience is highly spiritual, people with light and shadows, with laughter and tears. Our crowd belongs to a race that never died.
R: What can you tell us about Medusa? What is the visual theme you’ve chosen for your upcoming video?
José: The video of Medusa is being directed by Diego Lopez, a young Peruvian director (son of the well remembered radio and T.V. personality Johnny López). However, we have shared with him our particular vision and style of Noche Futura, in the form of details and visual elements within the clip itself, which will soon be available.
Julio: The video clip for Medusa is the prize we’re receiving as one of the winners of a competition organized by Winter House for Peruvian bands living in Peru or overseas. The overall concept and aesthetics of the video is being carried by the producers at Winter House, but it’s inevitable not to have our influence shine, and that’s because wherever José and I are together as Noche Futura, something in the air starts to sparkle; where the seahorses smile, trees tell stories of friendship and our animal spirits howl or whisper only for you, wherever you are.