"We live in the short term
and hope for the best
"

'Forevergreen' is a song by Scottish indie/techno band Finitribe, released in 1992 on the One Little Indian album 'An Unexpected Groovy Treat'. It was released in many different remixed forms as a single and is their most famous tune, although it did not chart anywhere and the group is willfully obscure to this day. Culturally, it belongs to the early-90s pre-dot.com 'Wired' magazine techno-virtual reality ambient William Gibson's 'Neuromancer' transhumanist fractal crop circle pre-X Files UFO-obsessed goatsucker Schwa-inspired etc, although it was a joke at the expense of all these things.

Musically it's a dated but charming techno-pop song, similar in style to the earlier work of labelmates The Shamen, but thankfully without Mr C. The lyrics - 'moving on a linear express, to a levitation disc in technopolis town, which is evergreen, this is forevergreen' - are a sardonic reflection on the pagan-techno-utopianism of the times; Finitribe's political sensibilities were much more down to earth than their contemporaries, such as The Shamen again. At a time when the latter were bleating about the shamanistic consciousness of the metasphere (cf. 'Re:Evolution'), Finitribe were moaning about hubris. Their previous album, 'Grossing 10K', had contained counterblastes against McDonalds and consumerism in general, all of which is forgivable as the band were and remain Scottish, both genetically and as a state of mind.

The song contains a list of futuristic construction projects, read in a Californian voice, which are or were genuine developments in and around Tokyo and Oita. 'Alice City' was to have been a large drum-shaped underground city which could generate its own power with special magnets, whilst 'Aeropolis' and 'Millenium Tower' were plans for massive, imposing skyscrapers which resembled something from the Imperial homeworld Coruscant, the latter by Sir Norman Foster. All of them would have been opening just about now if the Japanese real-estate crash hadn't led to them all being cancelled. Each would have housed 30-40,000 people; presumably they would now have to be armed with missiles.

'Teletopia' is an exception - it was a government programme dating from 1985 to create 'new media' cities, with digital telephone, cable lines and wireless communication. It is apparently still in operation and has been quite a success.

The song is packed with curious samples, inlcuding no less than Foghorn Leghorn. It opens with an English lady announcer whose monologue, revealed in full in one of the 12" mixes, read:

"People used to dream about the future. They thought there was no limit to progress. They dreamed of a clean, bright future, where science would make everything possible, and everybody better off. But somewhere along the line that future got cancelled."

The recurring 'and in warmer seas are new realms of pleasure' is an item of dialogue from the narration for General Motors' Futurama exhibit from the 1964 World's Fair, perhaps the last time people actually did used to dream about the future. Five years later the future happened, Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, and now most people do not dream about the future at all.

The album from which 'Forevergreen' came was plastered with excerpts from 'The Name of the Rose', 'On Her Majesty's Secret Service', old Yosemite Sam cartoons and others. 'People Used to Dream About the Future' is now a fashion label; their website offers both a t-shirt and a sweatshirt.

CST Approved

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