Members Alex Tepper, Phil Dockerty :
Style : Progressive
Label : Parlaphone Records, Junior Boy's Own, Fuju
Official Web : http://www.futureshockmusic.net


Futureshock. One word that conjures up two very clear images: T-1000 type machines legging around big willie style in 2340 surprising folk and a Brummie duo known to raise pulses skywards on dancefloors from Bedrock to Bugged Out! with their genre-defying music.

Two Brummie chaps, to be more specific, called Alex Tepper and Phil Dockerty who raised their game in 2000 with remixes for Underworld, Moby and the Chemical Brothers and then, through their own imprint Fuju, showed off their skills with the mighty 'Sparc' and 'The Question'. The only career low-light they have experienced so far has been a 'conceptual' photograph in Jockey Slut which featured them in front of a big clock (signifying the future) looking, er, shocked.

Futureshock emerged in 1999 from their label Urban Hero before tweaking the ear of house legend Terry Farley who signed them to JBO. Phil and Alexwere nearing their 35th release for Urban Hero and had conjured upnumerous nom de plumes (best one: Alex In Wonderland) before deciding that,perhaps, it was a jolly good idea to stick with the same name and if themusic they were making didn't always come out the same way, so what? Alltheir music from now on would be Futureshock music. And it would be good.

Phil (older, chattier) was born in the shadow of the Bull Ring. So Brummieis he that his first musical memory was "probably UB40, Everybody inBirmingham knows somebody in UB40," he claims. He also remembers having "thepiss ripped at school for liking disco" though his formative years saw himdrawn towards linoleum and the nascent sounds of electro. When the twoeights clashed and house music emerged Phil gave up his job sellingelectrical components after securing a DJ slot at 'Ritzy' style club PagodaPark doing housey hour slots while the other DJ - whose main job was entertaining hen parties 'on the mic' - took a break. Along side friend Adam Presdee Phil worked for several years on old school edits and cut'n'pasteversions of house hits. They formed the Urban Hero label for theirmulti-monikered original releases and it was around this time that Phil metAlex. But how did they meet? Was it:a) Alex was part of a human pyramid circus act that Phil was involved in.b) Alex met Phil in a cafe, they were ordering exactly the same bagelwith exactly the same idiosyncratic ingredients and toppings. It was love atfirst sight. Just like the advert.Orc) Phil bumped into Alex in the corridor of the studio he was working in.

Alex (younger, less chatty) was also into electro and breakdancin' when hewas a kid though he grew up in the far more authentic surrounds of EastCoast America (Baltimore). He moved to the Midlands when he was ten on thematernal promise that "all the best musicians come from England," the factthat he liked Duran Duran sealed his geographical fate. As a teen Alex had an ambition to host his own radio show and he met a guy who recorded radio jingles. Helping out in his studio Alex eschewed cash for studio time so hecould tinker on his own music. Now a fully fledge studio engineer to Phil'spro-DJ Alex has even engineered an Ozzy-less Black Sabbath in his time. He'sstill the studio geek into spending inordinate amounts of time on E-Bayshopping for old synths.

Alex bumped into Phil in the corridor of the studio he was working in andbecame an honorary Urban Hero. Alex' most important release from this erawas an early UK garage hit 'Diamond Rings' as Ex Presidents. Now affordedlegendary status it regularly features in classic UK garage top tens and isoften bootlegged. Phil and Alex also attracted a young Mike Skinner totheir studio. "Mike from The Streets used to come by and play us demo's he'd done on his PC," Alex recalls. "He needed to go to London to get the cockney accent. What he's doing now is amazing." Shame they didn't sign him up toFuju!

If Phil could choose three words that he thinks Alex would pick to describehim they would be talkative, opinionated and considerate.

If Alex could choose three words that he thinks Phil would pick to describehim they would be moody, self-absorbed and "hopefully" talented. "I know! I shouldn't have said 'talented' that's so arrogant," Alex back-tracks. Modest too then.

Whilst holding down the mantle of remixers du jour through 2000 Futureshockhoned their sound. Phil: "Underworld would send us their parts ('Jumbo'broken into it's single recorded components) and it gave us a real insightinto how they'd made the tune. We'd break it all down to the elements thenput our twist on it." The remixes were made with big rooms in mind,Futureshock cut through the progressive and trance sounds by keeping itfunky and making sure they let their drums do the talking. "We were so intoTodd Terry's drum sounds. We wanted to do drums like Todd and put electronicsound over the top. No one else was really doing that. We bought the samedrum machine Todd and Mantronix used." The so-called euphoric breakdowns ofmost tech-house and progressive records were usually left wanting, wanting abeat that kicked hard. Futureshock's kicked like a mule. Alex' favouritegame is spotting who has nicked their huge kick-drum from the mighty'Sparc'. Tom Stephan has so far 'fessed up.

The follow-up to 'Sparc' - 'The Question (Why, Why, Why?)' paid homage to Underworld sampling an old b-side. In the fall of 2002 Futureshock willembark on tour with Underworld making their live debut showcasing tracksfrom their forthcoming eagerly anticipated album. 'Sparc' will be on there -a track that was reviewed across the techno, house and progressive pages ofthe mags on its release - alongside a track "that doesn't sound likeanything we've done before", a track with an MC from the Reinforceddrum'n'bass stable, a track featuring a rap that recalls the hip house era,a track written by and featuring Ben Onono who was involved in the house hitof the summer 'It Just Won't Do' and a track "that is perfectly capable ofclearing any dancefloor the world over" (this is a good thing). No doubt allunderpinned with their booming drums.

Anything else we can expect ?" Expect the unexpected."Of course. Time to board up those pigeonholes.


FEU presents Spice feat Futureshock @ Yellow, Tokyo (2004/09/22)