It's surprising if Piano Magic leader Glen Johnson goes six months let alone a year without releasing some recorded material. Future Conditional is Johnson with regular collaborator Cedric Pin and the usual assortment of guests but it's not released under the regular brand name because this is a new electro-pop project; drawing inspiration from the retro-futurist groups of the early 1980's. Since this is not really a huge departure from the PM sound anyway, Johnson and co. can be relied upon to deliver.
The choice of guests is certainly interesting with the intentionally clinical vocals of Dan Mats (Windsor For The Derby) and Angele David-Guillou balanced by the still sweetly innocent tones of ex-Trembling Blue Stars and Field Mice man Bobby Wratten. All the same, the opening stance of the record is one of austere, loveless music. Gradually songs increase in charm though; the cute Kraftwerkian melody of 'The Switchboard Girl' for instance, whilst 'Crying's What You Need' is a glorious pop tune reminiscent of New Order spin-off The Other Two rather than their more celebrated parent band. The haunting closing track 'Your Loves Me Colder' is another track which hits the mark, thanks to its shimmering OMD-esque backdrop and a chilling vocal from Ian Catt. To sum up then, as an exercise in marrying electronic music to a human heart, Johnson just falls short but in terms of making another fine album, he succeeds yet again.