Cxemcast 068 – Radiant Futur

Tell us the story behind Radiant Futur. How did you meet?

Jan: It is a long story. It all started more than 10 years ago when I began making music and created the project Svetloje Budushcheje (“radiant future”). A couple of years ago I decided to rebuild the project and changed the name because the English transliteration is unpronounceable. Thus, “Radiant Futur” is a word coinage inspired by the original name.

I was playing at the Zavod rave in Cherkasy once, and met Vova there. We quickly got along on the basis of common vision and shared interests in music.

Vova: One evening I mentioned that I had a spare mixer at my place, and Jan wanted to write something new, experimental at that time. I brought the mixer to his place, and we started doing it together.

Jan: We thought it would be great to make our own recordings of different sounds and started experimenting in this direction.

Why this particular name?

J: I just liked the phrase “Svetloje busushcheje” [“radiant future”], the radiant future that is yet to come... And I just decided to name the project this way, in Russian. Then, while searching for the most accurate English translation, I found the book by Alexander Zinoviev, which has the same name and is translated as “The Radiant Future”, but then I searched the Internet and found that there was already a label and musician Radiant Future, so I didn’t copy it, but simply changed “future” to “futur”, which stands for future tense in Geman. 

V: Initially, we had a big goal — to find the sound that would reflect our inner world. To me, the name “Radiant Futur” fits the music that we wrote.

J: Radiant Futur is an abstract fusion of the future and the past, everything combined. I do not attach any specific meaning to our music, it's just emotions inside us, and an attempt to express them with music.

So, have you found your own sound?

J: We are still looking for it. We are trying to create our unique sounds, to improve them, and then we work hard to make them fit together. We adjust the sounds as well as the voice, trying to make the latter sound melodic. There isn’t a lot of recorded material with the voice, ‘cause we leave it for live experiments.

How are you looking for new sounds? Tell us about this process. 

V: Initially, we were interested in doing without the downloaded samples, so that we would use something unique. For this reason, we started getting creative and recording everything from closing books to firecrackers in the bathroom. It was, by the way, a very fascinating process, we’ve learned a lot. For example, a microphone can perfectly fit the tube of a vacuum cleaner, and you can create interesting sounds that way. 

Speaking of melodies, we do not have any specific goals there. When we start working on a track or a live, we write a lot and try to combine hardcore sound with melodic synths. At parties, people usually hear the music in different ways: one dances to the kick drum, another appreciates the melodies. We wanted to create music that could meet different needs.

J: We are interested in doing everything from scratch. Radiant Futur prompted us to learn to write music, synthesis, and to delve into the technical aspects.

I cannot but mention the shoegaze release Svetloje Budushcheje, VIII. It is very different from what you write as part of Radiant Futur. Jan, what connects you to instrumental music, and how did you create this work? 

J: In 2008, I got into rock and gathered several bands. Then I gradually made a transition to prog rock and shoegaze, but there was barely anyone interested in it in the city. I tried put together musicians who at least could technically play it, but it all ended after two or three rehearsals. In the end, I decided to do everything myself. I bought a guitar and started learning. Along the way, I came across information about the 432 Hz system and began to study this topic.

Speaking of other associations with numbers, it’s an old interest in numerology. The numbers 8, 17, 26, and 5775 seemed to have an indirect effect on our lives. I wanted to draw attention to this.

Do you want to get back to shoegaze?

J: Yes, I want to put together a prog rock band, but I need more time. You see, Vova and I have a lot of work, and I devote almost all my time to Radiant Futur.

Do you do anything else besides music?

V: To be honest, over the last year, music has taken over almost everything for me. This is a hobby that has become an addiction, I would say. I constantly think about music. I can wake up at night with a melody in my head, sit down and write it down on a piece of paper. Actually, I still work in Cherkasy as a translator, I translate texts.

J: I have a job as well, oddly enough. I record foley, noise for film at KWA Sound, a post-production studio KWA Sound. Also, sometimes I write poetry and take photos.

Interviewed by Tanya Voytko