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Future 47

Eric Johnson 1991Future 47 was the name attributed to the solo four-track recordings of Eric Johnson from 1989 to 1992. The second of three four track recording periods, Future 47’s time was both innovated and prolific. Recording seven full-length cassette projects in just over two years, Johnson continued to develop the direction of earlier four-track recordings, though often exploring new musical avenues. These new directions included experiments with piano, found sound, chamber music-like arrangements, and ambient elements. These experiments continued to push the music further away from rock and roll while still, in many ways, still celebrating the garage band tradition. Piano works, inspired by Ron Geesin and Birdsongs for the Mesazoic, continued to develop to epic proportions, at times. Experiments with drones, e-bow textures and found sound are some other elements that dominate the material from this period, ultimately creating a sort of prog/post-rock/ambient or new age hybrid.  However, the period is generally underscored with a fascination with the heavy sludge-rock that characterized some of the burgeoning "grunge-rock" bands of the day, like TAD and Soundgarden. The seven Future 47 cassette projects were all originally recorded between 1989-1992 in various locations. Future 47’s debut, “Infinite Repeat” (1990) was recorded at Beloit College, Beloit Wisconsin. The material from “Infinite Repeat” is diverse - from Irish jig-style rockers, Helios Creed-style meltdown jams to orchestrated piano works. “Eyes Glow Like Starshine” (1990), “Background Radiation” (1990) share a similar lineage, both being recorded in Geneva, Illinois in the summer of 1990. Material includes both instrumental/noise excursions and a developing sense of alternative-rock, which was becoming popular at the time. “Scary Stories” recorded both at Beloit College and Geneva Illinois, explore an interest is the developing techno/trance music movement. “Hair Helmet and the Garden Weasel” (1991) were recorded in Geneva Illinois and includes some of the most fully realized rock songs recorded during this period. The haunted A “Goldfish Has No Place To Hide” (1991), recorded in Chicago in an empty high-rise where Johnson was renting space – atmospheric rock with a strong dose of ambient experimentation. The Future 47 period came to a close with the dark, folk/psych-rock offerings of “Space Noir” (1992). Recorded in Milwaukee Wisconsin, “Space Noir” features introspective acoustic works along side atmospheric instrumentals. The Future 47 period came to a close as Johnson relocated to Madison Wisconsin to attend university.

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