Home Read Albums Of The Week: Duran Duran | Future Past

Albums Of The Week: Duran Duran | Future Past

The synth-loving pop veteran look both ways on their 15th studio album — and enlist everyone from Giorgia Moroder to Chai to help them keep from going stale.

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THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Future Past, the new album from internationally acclaimed, platinum-selling, award-winning pop legends Duran Duran, boasts esteemed producers Erol Alkan, Giorgio Moroder and Mark Ronson behind the board, plus special guest Graham Coxon of Blur on guitar, David Bowie’s former pianist Mike Garson, and guest vocals from Lykke Li and others.

Not bad for an album they didn’t intend to make. As Simon Le Bon also reveals: “When we first went into the studio in late 2018, I was trying to persuade the guys that all we needed to do was write two or three tracks for an EP. Four days later, with the nucleus of 25-plus strong songs in the can, that all deserved development, I realized we’d be in it for the long haul, but that was before COVID. So here we are in 2021 with our 15th studio album Future Past straining at the leash. Music by Duran Duran with Graham Coxon, Lykke Li, Mike Garson, Erol Alkan, Mark Ronson, Giorgio Moroder (for God’s sake!). I’m not saying it’s epic, but well … yes I am. We open with the song Invisible, which began as a story about a one-sided relationship but grew into something much bigger, because ‘a voiceless crowd isn’t backing down.’ John and Roger’s rhythm track is mountainous; Nick’s melodies twist and soar; Graham’s guitar is a knife. It feels exactly right for right now.”

Duran Duran
2021 promo photo
cr: John Swannell

Talking about the single from his home in London, co-founder and keyboardist Nick Rhodes said: “Sonic architecture has always been incredibly important to Duran Duran. I think, with Invisible, we really have managed to carve the sculpture the way we wanted it. Sonically, it’s a very unusual piece of music. I think when you merge all the instruments together, it creates an overall sound that perhaps you haven’t heard before.”

The official film for Duran Duran’s Invisible is the first collaboration of its kind, between artists in different planes of existence. In a ground-breaking, world first, Huxley is an A.I. whose ‘mind’ has been designed based on what we know about how the cognitive and emotional processes of human beings work. Huxley is a unique dreamer with its own A.I. brain. Huxley creates and dreams much as we do, and using an established technique called ‘active inference,’ which was originally created by Karl Friston (one of the most influential neuroscientists in history), we are able to explore the complex dreamscapes that it has imagined from the lyrics and emotional tone of the song. Huxley takes the concepts that are rooted in human language and iconic symbolism and translates them into provocative and daring imagery that pushes the boundaries of imagination to create a new form of visual discourse that is remarkable. The result is a haunting and memorable video.”