thu 21/10/2021

Tomorrow's World, ICA | reviews, news & interviews

Tomorrow's World, ICA

Tomorrow's World, ICA

Good things happen when one of Air collaborates with New Young Pony Clubber

Future shock: Jean-Benoit Dunckel and Lou Hayter contemplate Tomorrow's World

The ICA was the perfect location for the UK debut of hotly tipped new duo Tomorrow’s World, consisting of Air’s Jean-Benoit Dunckel and English synth-rockers New Young Pony Club’s ivory tickler Lou Hayter. The venue added a prestigious edge to what promised to be an auspicious occasion. A scant crowd suggested this was more of a test run than a full-blown debut, but they needn’t have worried about the reaction. Their music spoke for itself.

Support came from another alumnus of London’s New Young Pony Club, guitarist Igor Volk. His set was impressive, the newly-released single "Voice" really showing off his pop chops, with a slow-building funk that culminated anthemically in a corral of crashing drums and strangely enough for a catchy song, whistling.

They clearly understand the importance of aesthetics

Anticipation was running high as Tomorrow’s World took the stage. They had the look down to a tee. Emerging through a syrupy cloud of smoke, with the stage lights shimmering playfully off Hayter’s spectacular sequinned gown and Dunckel’s chrome bank of machinery, they clearly understand the importance of aesthetics. With a sprinkle of Berlin-era Bowie cool and that studied insouciance that makes it difficult to gauge real emotion, their music thankfully represented something more tangible, brimming with intensity.

Fans of Air will be reassured to know that Tomorrow’s World’s oeuvre isn’t a country mile away from the lush electronic soundscapes of classics such as Moon Safari or their soundtrack work. In fact, it is the sublime soundtrack to The Virgin Suicides that Air composed in 2000 that seemed to mostly inform and influence the atmosphere of heartbreak and mournful zeal that Hayter and Dunckel conveyed on stage last night.

Channelling that other bastion of Anglo-French musical relations, Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin (not surprising; the duo were also a major influence on Air), their tracks sizzled when they both took on vocal duties, such as on LP track "Pleurer et Chanson", where they traded breathy Gallic sentiments over a woozy, undulating synth melody and skittish percussion. They could have been talking finance for all us non-French speakers knew, but gosh darn it they sounded so sensual.

Tomorrow’s World is an apt moniker. If the rumours are true that the group named themselves after the much-loved BBC Television show (as opposed to the 2011 Erasure LP, though both work in this context) then it was a shrewd decision. Like the TV show, their music exhibits a kind of retro futurism, with one step firmly in the past while at the same time always looking ahead. Look out for these two, this won’t be the last you hear of them.

Like the TV show of the same name, their music exhibits a kind of retro futurism


Editor Rating: 
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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