The edgy synth pop and art-rock of Finlay Shakespeare's music harks back to the originators of the scene's early-'80s heyday, taking parts of Depeche Mode and the Human League and melding them into Talking Heads-esque art-pop, as heard on his 2019 debut Domestic Economy.
Born and raised in Gloucester, England, Shakespeare grew up listening to his parents' record collection, with Jean-Michel Jarre making a huge impression on the youngster. His interest in synthesizers was born and after learning to play himself, he started to explore the insides of the machines as well. By his teen's he was building his own D.I.Y. synths, selling circuit-bent instruments, and eventually expanding into eurorack synth modules. Inspired by the likes of Drexciya and Autechre, Shakespeare starting to record under the name Future Image, releasing a handful of self-released albums and EPs such as 2007's Reign Vent and 2008's PACh ArcEL. In addition to work as Future Image, he started to make synth parts on a professional basis, creating the company Future Sound Systems and working with the likes of Throbbing Gristle's Chris Carter to develop a line of Gristelizer components for the modular scene. After a handful of more Future Image releases, Shakespeare decided to change his direction, moving away from the IDM sound of his previous work and bringing in vocals and a decidedly more pop edge. In 2017 he started to record an audio diary titled Housediet, which saw him improvising on his own modular system and taking lyrical inspiration from international political and social issues. The synth pop sound -- which also featured his David Byrne-esque vocals -- caught the ear of Editions Mego, which signed Shakespeare. Recorded throughout 2018, the resulting album, Domestic Economy -- which featured artwork from Nik Void and was mastered by Russell Haswell -- was issued by the label in early 2019. ~ Rich Wilson, Rovi