They turned up at the requested time, thirty music execs armed with only a password. Outside the train station stood a man in a North African berber outfit, beneath a rusted metal effigy; a logo the industry types recognised from the 30-second clip of psychedelics and noise that had been surreptitiously distributed earlier that week. Transported to a secret venue for the debut performance, the execs were all on the phone straight away, offering the future to Black Futures.
Unconventional and brilliant, when Black Futures (the duo of Space and Vibes) finally inked their deal – with the legendary Music For Nations label – they did so literally; tattooing themselves and others with the band’s logo in the boardroom of Sony Music, surrounded by their tribe of hazmat-wearing devotees. That logo, and slogan, Never Not Nothing, “means absolutely nothing but absolutely everything at the same time,” says Space. “It’s all encompassing”; “Infinite nothingness,” Vibes adds.
Having learnt their craft by writing with The Prodigy and producing Idles, Black Futures’ single releases gradually unveiled their manifesto. ‘Love’ was based on the idea that “if it’s end of times, you’ve got ten minutes left, what are you gonna do? You’re gonna go around and tell everyone you love them, then get weird.” The mellower, more psychedelic ‘Karma Ya Dig!?’ was an anthem of solidarity, a tribute to friends Space had lost to suicide: “It’s the idea of holding the best of the people you lose in your mind and letting them live on through that.”