This article was published in the Winter 2020 issue of Pop da Palette, a student-run pop culture magazine at The Hotchkiss School.
Are you constantly sprinting up Cardiac hill, trying to set a new personal record? Or do you relish the thrill of finishing your math homework fast—because it is due in 15 minutes? If yes, then you might vibe with the intense beats of futurecore music.
Futurecore is a genre of electronic dance music that combines the high-bpm pulse of hardcore with the rich chords and sound design of future bass. While it is still a fairly niche category of EDM in the United States, the genre has been growing in popularity over the past three years after Japanese record label MEGAREX released the futurecore compilation FÜGENE in 2017.
Here are a few of my personal favorite tracks (just don’t rave too hard while listening to them if your roommate is sleeping!):
1. PSYQUI — Your voice so… feat. Such
This track wastes no time with introductions, jumping right into a breakbeat drop within the first 20 seconds. PSYQUI’s use of fast-paced vocal chops and sprinkle-y hi-hats keep the energy moving throughout the track’s three drops, and bells and filter sweeps contribute to a bright and bubbly mood overall. Japanese producer PSYQUI and vocalist Such frequently collaborate together on MEGAREX releases, and the two often reoccur again throughout this list.
2. Zekk — Feelsleft0ut
Zekk’s signature pitched-up vocal samples and a dancing synth line take the listener on a wild rollercoaster. Throughout the track, meticulously-programmed percussion builds a chaotic groove. It’s a shame that the ride ends after just two minutes, as the listener is left wanting more.
3. Mameyudoufu — Dot to Dot feat. Shully
“Dot to Dot” begins with a pounding kick sidechained over layered synths, creating a rhythmic pulse. The track then breaks into a build section featuring Shully’s vocals and a plucked counterpoint melody. Mameyudoufu’s lush harmonies and sophisticated lead melodies throughout the drop make this track stand out.
4. PSYQUI & Such — Hikari no houe – lapix & Cranky Remix
lapix and Cranky’s spin on “Hikari no houe,” originally a J-rock song composed by PSYQUI and performed by Such, starts with a foreshadowing of the main drop and a short acoustic section retaining the tone of the original song. Then the track builds into a massive drop, with layered chords filling out all ends of the audio spectrum. It will make you headbang—I promise.
5. Zekk — SUMMER
Once again, sped-up vocals take center stage in Zekk’s “SUMMER,” constructing a bittersweet melodic line. Bubbling synths, bells, and rising arpeggios add a note of lightness, while detailed bass sound design and kick programming help keep the low end of the track interesting.
6. Akira Complex & PSYQUI — Come to Me
Plucked basslines and synths create an abstract opening to “Come to Me,” before opening into a drop similar to lapix and Cranky’s “Hikari no houe” remix. Akira Complex and PSYQUI intersperse various guitar fills, drum breaks, and intricate bass design into the drop, creating a rich and diverse listening experience. The track’s chords are more introspective and atmospheric compared to many of the other tracks on this list.
7. Mameyudoufu — Wave feat. Nakuru Aitsuki
Mameyudoufu chooses to use more dissonant chords in “Wave,” creating a lush tension throughout the track. Synth blasts and a pulsing bassline in the drops contrast with orchestral strings and bells in the track’s softer moments. As a result, Mameyudoufu captures both the wild, turbulent power of the ocean during storms and the gentle waves lapping at the beach.
8. Kabuki — Tightbeam feat. Zeru (Synthion Remix)
A combination of happy chords and bright sound design makes Synthion’s remix of “Tightbeam” joyous and uplifting to listen to. Her use of vocal chops and filter automation creates a dynamic futurecore drop. There’s a surprise psytrance drop in the middle of the track as well, which flows nicely into a sweet piano solo during the track’s break.
Entire playlist (and some extras):
Bonus: Two more tracks that aren’t available on Spotify.
DJPoyoshi & lapix — ありがとう さようなら (PSYQUI feat. Such Remix)
PSYQUI — Start Up (feat. Such)
(I can’t find an official version of this track anywhere online—you can Google it for some unofficial uploads on YouTube.)