Foreword is our way of introducing some of our favourite underground artists. Traditionally, a foreword acts as a prelude to literature, telling the story of how said literature came to be. With Foreword, we take this concept and apply it to music. We’ll be taking a look at the origins, as well as the future of artists that we’re excited about. Expect to see at least one Foreword feature on the site each week.
“Futuristic islamic art, the issues of product placement, and the art of cutscenes: only 3 of the plethora of themes inherent in this video.” This is what Nok from the Future included in his email to introduce his most recent video at the time, ‘About The Youth (Smoke and Drive)’. Needless to say, Nok knows how to stand out. Even in an age where Spooky Black and Yung Lean can garner millions of plays on Youtube, he’s a distinct character.
With an aesthetic deeply embedded in post-modernism and post-apocalyptic product placement, Nok’s visuals are eye catching. But, his aesthetic isn’t necessarily what makes him interesting. In the absolutely bizarre email he used to introduce himself, he bluntly stated that ‘About The Youth’ is an “an internet hit.” And whilst he’s not quite at that level yet, it’s not hard to see him becoming the next thing 4chan users argue over. His music posses an airy and sleek quality few internet-born rappers possess, combining the modern advancements of technology with the limited digital interaction of the past. It’s both nostalgic and futuristic at the same, evoking a strange feeling of memories that never really occurred to begin with.
“It is a simple track, but nowadays people want their music like a wikipedia article,” he said in regards to ‘About The Youth’. As attention spans continue to dwindle, simplicity and immediacy are becoming key, and Nok is astutely aware of this. His songs are potent and straight to the point, leaving little room for interpretation, but a lot of room for appreciation. Providing all of his own production, his space-age instrumentation takes cues from Oneohtrix Point Never, Hudson Mohawke, and Clams Casino. It’s an accessible form of embracing consumerism post-ironically, obtuse and yet delightfully urgent.
If this all sounds like a bunch of wankery nonsense to you, then Nok’s music just isn’t for you. But then again, maybe he’s just making music that’s actually sly commentary on our over-analytical times, and it just so happens to be really fun to play extremely loud. He may be laughing with us or at us, but we’re on board regardless of the circumstance.