Futurepop pioneers VNV Nation bring their 1984 imagery and positive-mindedness to Studio A on Thursday for an all-ages show. The band, made up of Londoners Ronan Harris and Mark Jackson, have taken their time in becoming electronic music's next big thing; they've been together since 1990.
But let's back up a second, to the term futurepop. Fact is, the electronic music underground is still working the bugs out of its nomenclature. Fans argue back and forth about whether a particular song is representative of futurepop, industrial, IDM, darkwave, or any one of the other dozen alleged genres that have sprung up. Of course, when VNV Nation goes viral and that's just a matter of time, with songwriters like Harris around its music will no doubt be referred to simply as "techno." Given VNV Nation's uncanny ability to touch the heart as deftly as the ears, futurepop is the correct label for the band. One need only hear a few lines of Harris' smoky Steve Winwood-like baritone to recognize the potential for huge success. The band's 2005 album, Matter + Form, featured a couple of breathtaking songs, namely "Chrome" (a stomping dance-floor-filler Genesis would have written had Phil and company been born during the late '70s) and the heart-tugging ballad "Endless Skies." If VNV had been working under the whip of a major label, it's likely that all the songs on the disc would have been so radio-friendly. But (as with all its albums) Matter boasted quite a few bouncy instrumentals. The pair's new album, Judgment, hits the streets this month, and it will be interesting to hear in which direction they've decided to point themselves.
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VNV Nation performs with And One at 8 p.m. Thursday, April 5, at Studio A, 60 NE 11th St., Miami. Admission costs $20; all ages admitted. Call 305-358-7625, or visit www.studioamiami.com.