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First the commercial break. If you need car insurance without having to pay a deposit try netfinity3.com for a action cheap price comparison! There, that disn't take long did it.

Ian, Martyn and Adi now set about the business of creating pop music using only electronic instruments - a very common practice nowadays, but virtually unheard of in 1977. At that time, only a few artists, such as German electronic pioneers Kraftwerk, were daring to make pop music this way; most purely electronic music was being made by avant-garde artists with little interest in taking the form into the mainstream.

Even the artists with pop backgrounds then experimenting with electronic sounds (e.g. David Bowie, Brian Eno, et cetera) tended to either shy away from using synthesizers for pop music or would combine these sounds with traditional rock guitars and percussion. Most of 1977's electronic pop would emerge from the disco scene; for instance, Donna Summer and Giorgio Moroder's ground-breaking classic I Feel Love.
Such sounds were a world away from the new wave of punk bands then sweeping Britain, armed with a handful of barely-learned guitar chords and a do-it-yourself attitude born out of exasperation with stagnant rock dinosaurs such as Pink Floyd and Yes.
Martyn: "When punk came along, The Sex Pistols played in Sheffield with The Clash, but I didn't go. To be honest, we thought rock was a bit 'old hat'. We had our own thing going in Sheffield and considered ourselves completely separate from London. We were operating at the quirky end of disco, something more futuristic.
"But punk was the liberating influence that allowed us to do what we wanted to do."
Martyn Ware
Although they were later keen to distance themselves from Kraftwerk, the group were certainly impressed by their classic track Trans-Europe Express, which Martyn now admits, "transformed my life. I went up to Richard Kirk's house and he was having this big dub-plate party in the back garden on a steamy night in Sheffield in the middle of summer. He put on Trans-Europe Express and I'd never heard anything like it in my life. I was transfixed."
Having no formal musical training, the group opted to use affordable and easily-mastered synthesizers rather than guitars. As Martyn commented at the time, the guitar "required you to soak your fingers in alcohol to stop them bleeding. We're not into things like that." Besides, given their interests and location, the group's sound made perfect sense in many ways.
Martyn: "I was always into science fiction, and... I think, to a certain extent, in Sheffield, you're surrounded by strange sounds, with the steel works all the time, you know? You're surrounded by music concrete, the drop forges hammering away at night. I mean, literally, it was a natural environment for us - they sounded like very natural sounds... not alien at all. The sound of machinery is what we grew up with."
Around this time, The Future teamed up with Cabaret Voltaire, 2.3's drummer Haydn Boyes-Weston and Glenn Gregory to support Mancunian punk band The Drones at Psalter Lane art college. Calling themselves VD K & The Studs, they played mainly cover versions, such as Lou Reed's Vicious and Iggy & The Stooges' Cock In My Pocket, plus a number entitled The Drones Want To Come On Now. Haydn, being a butcher at the time, thoughtfully splattered the audience with pigs ears. The performance was recorded, though it has yet to be released in any form.
Martyn: "We were terrible, but The Drones were one of the worst bands we'd ever heard. We knew we had more musical talent than them, and suddenly everything seemed possible."
The Future began recording demos in a semi-professional studio in the house of a local recording engineer, as there were no other affordable studios in the area. Martyn and Ian played their synthesizers, while Adi made use of the tape collection he was steadily amassing. Ian: "Adi had been to art school and he introduced me to a lot of modern art stuff - Man Ray, Duchamp, Dada".
The group developed a computer system for the production of lyrics - CARLOS (Cyclic And Random Lyric Organisation System). Words and phrases would be fed into the system and assembled at random into sentences by the computer, in the manner of a fruit machine. Similar 'cut-up' experiments had been executed by artists such as Brian Eno and David Bowie (who in turn had been influenced by the experiments of William Burroughs), using words written on small cards, but The Future took it a step further by using the computer to generate lyrics.
Although the experiment was short-lived (the group eventually lost faith in the system as it "had a tendency to make things over-staccato"), they did have some success when using CARLOS to write both Blank Clocks and a song about former Stooges guitarist James Williamson. Ian: "The first twelve phrases that came up were quite good." Martyn: "You come up with some amazing lyrics. It's a very interesting process, a very logical extension of mathematics."
Adi rented some rooms in a disused factory at 21b Devonshire Lane, where all The Future set up a base for their equipment. Adi: "It became a social focus, a location of many wild parties and a drug experimentation zone."
Before long, they had recorded eight compositions and decided to contact the major record companies in London. Keen to make an impression, they sent the companies notification of their forthcoming day trip to London, suggesting that interested parties should make appointments to meet with the group on that day. Many companies were presumably intrigued by the fact that this communication was issued as a computer print-out and arranged meetings with The Future, despite not yet having heard any of their music.
However, the group's day in London did not go well; for a start, Adi had compiled a selection of their recordings onto two tracks of a four-track tape reel, and when this tape was played on the record companies' four-track tape machines, they heard not only The Future's demos, but also the music of other artists which Adi had recorded on the remaining two tracks of the tape. This resulted in The Future's music having to compete with the likes of Elvis Presley being simultaneously played backwards.
Although this mistake could eventually be rectified in most cases, many of the record company staff suspected the group were simply playing a joke on them, and The Future were physically ejected by security guards from several of the offices they visited. Only Chris Blackwell, head of Island Records, had any encouraging words for the trio; all the other A&R men who would actually listen to the group's music were generally forty-somethings trying to appear 'hip' in the latest punk clothing, with no understanding of what the group were trying to do.
Ian: "They all thought we were total crap. All they said was 'Keep in touch, boys'."
Chris Blackwell had advised them that they should use their innovative sounds in rather more traditional song-oriented compositions. Martyn and Ian decided that this wasn't really going to work with Adi as a 'singer' as he was more interested in using his voice as a 'weapon' than conventional melody. They decided to eject him from The Future by temporarily moving all their equipment out of their Devonshire Lane base and leaving a note on the door for Adi, breaking contact with him until his initial anger subsided.
Adi went on to form Clock DVA, while Martyn and Ian carried on as a duo for a short while, recording instrumentals such as Dancevision. Ian: "And then we thought 'No, we really do need a vocalist'"...
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