|Cultural origins||Late 1990s, Western Europe|
|Typical instruments||Synthesizer, music software|
Futurepop is an electronic music genre that has been characterized as a blend of synthpop, EBM and dance beats, based on trance and techno. It began to emerge in the late 1990s with artists like VNV Nation, Covenant, and Apoptygma Berzerk. Other leading genre artists were Assemblage 23, Icon of Coil, Neuroticfish, and Rotersand.
Futurepop is mostly associated with the cybergoth subculture. It has become popular in alternative dance clubs, particularly in Germany. Music festivals that feature futurepop bands include Infest, Amphi festival, Wave Gotik Treffen and M'era Luna.
Futurepop is mainly characterized by its "technoid" and "dance-oriented" pop music structures, catchy melodies, the "pervasive use of trance beats" (mostly at 140 bpm), and an absence of vocal modification. The genre is distinguished from regular trance music by "retaining the lyrical and vocal structure of synthpop". Its "transparent sounds" and "smooth production" style have been considered as being "chart-compatible" and "designed for music clubs".
Ronan Harris of VNV Nation credited himself with the term "futurepop" during a discussion with Apoptygma Berzerk vocalist Stephan Groth to describe the sounds of their music and similar groups at the time. According to Sorted Magazine writer "Girl the Bourgeois Individualist":
He says he came up with it during a conversation with Apop's Stefan Groth when they were discussing the arrogant attitude the press had towards the scene, dismissing it as simply an '80s revival. There was also the problem with the terms that were around, they regarded electro as encompassing too many things, while EBM is not what it used to be and the idea of the whole dark scene gives the impression that everyone is hanging out in crypts and listening to Sopor Aeternus.
- Peter Matzke, Tobias Seeliger: Das Gothic- und Dark-Wave-Lexikon. Schwarzkopf und Schwarzkopf, Berlin 2003, ISBN 3-89602-522-8, p. 230.
- Axel Schmidt, Klaus Neumann-Braun: Die Welt der Gothics. Spielräume düster konnotierter Transzendenz. 2004, ISBN 3-531-14353-0. p. 273.
- Isabella van Elferen: Gothic Music: The Sounds of the Uncanny, University of Wales Press, 2012, ISBN 0708325130, p. 165.
- S. Alexander Reed: Assimilate. A Critical History of Industrial Music. Oxford University Press, Oxford 2013, ISBN 978-0-19-983260-6, p. 297.
- Girl the Bourgeois Individualist (2002). "Being a little bit productive". Sorted magAZine.[better source needed]
- Froidcoeur, Stéphane (2009). "Assemblage 23 – I've never been fond of the 'future pop' moniker". Side-Line Magazine. Archived from the original on 2013-09-06.
- David Horn, John Shepherd, Paolo Prato: Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World, Volume 11: Genres Europe. Bloomsbury Academic 2017, ISBN 978-1501326103, p. 223.
"The futurepop genre, as exemplified in the music of Apoptygma Berzerk, Covenant and VNV Nation, saw EBM merging with synthpop while adopting features of trance and contemporary EDM."
- Alexander Nym: Schillerndes Dunkel: Geschichte, Entwicklung und Themen der Gothic-Szene. Plöttner Verlag, 2010, ISBN 978-3-86211-006-3, p. 199.
"In der Szene ist Neon das neue Schwarz. Der Sound dazu nennt sich Future Pop, Cybergoth oder Hellectro und ist von billigem Techno oft kaum mehr zu unterscheiden. (Stefan Gnad).
("Within the dark scene neon is the new black. The sound connected to it is called futurepop, cybergoth or hellectro. The music shows almsost no difference to mediocrely produced techno music.").