Julius Dobos [forgotten future] –
The Original Story of a Unique Composer
Hungarian-American composer Julius Dobos is best known for his electronic, psybient, ambient and early electro-orchestral music releases worldwide, and for his music produced for major motion pictures, such as “You Don’t Mess with the Zohan”, “Paul Blart: MallCop” and television programs (DragonBall Z, NCIS) in Europe and in the United States.
Today with nine album releases, including a platinum album and the popular “Mountain Flying”, he has become one of the prominent Central-European composers of large-scale electronic / electro-orchestral music to receive international attention. Under his moniker forgotten future, Julius is currently working on a four-part concept album series, of which, the first piece forgotten future: W1 was released in 2015, and quickly gained the respect of psybient listeners worldwide. While most describe his music as “organic electronic”, Julius never fails to surprise his worldwide audience with melodic approaches and uniquely designed sonic textures, which guarantee a musical experience that is years ahead of the norms – even for the most discerning listener.
Julius started playing the piano at the age of five and writing music at nine. It was in these pre-teen years, when his father introduced him to the 70’s and 80’s electronic music. The young Dobos was greatly influenced by the sounds and musical worlds created by electronic music pioneers like Vangelis, Mike Oldfield, Jean Michel Jarre, Brian Eno, Rick Wakeman, John Carpenter and the visual nature of Isao Tomita’s Pictures at an Exhibition. Following his dreams of creating musical worlds, or “visible music”, he found himself spending more time with composing than practicing the piano, obsessed with his new interest: electronic musical instruments.
After studying composition and film score composition at various institutions in Europe, he felt limited by classical music. He composed the early “demo” version of Mountain Flying at age 19 – the music that brought him international success three years later with the album of the same title.
In 1997, Julius Dobos was offered the opportunity to produce a Nokia-sponsored album, which under the title of Connecting Images, featured Julius’ own, original musical style, catchy melodies, monumental instrumentation, a 50-piece choir and Grammy® Awarded vocalist Márta Sebestyén on one track. The CD was well received by listeners and launched Dobos’ career.
The success of Connecting Images was followed by the large-scale realization of Mountain Flying, the expanded and revised version of the compositions from his teenage years. The electronic-orchestral album featured a 130-piece symphonic orchestra and choir, multitude of synthesizers evoking the sonic world of snow-capped mountains, and was an instant hit. The success of Mountain Flying quickly spread across Europe and reached the fans of electronic and modern orchestral music worldwide.
Julius wrote his first major film score at the age of 22, for the action-adventure movie Europe Express. He then scored several more movies, a radioplay, and created soundscapes for installations, exhibitions and movie theaters.
Moving to the United States – The Industry Years
Motivated by the creative possibilities of motion pictures and music, he relocated to the United States in 2000.
He composed music for Aerobatics World Champion pilot Péter Besenyei for the World Championship of Aerobatics, wrote music and programmed sounds for several popular television shows. His work can be heard in 126 episodes of DragonBall Z, in an award-winning claymation series Red Planet Blues, in The Reality of Speed and Your House & Home television series.
In 2003 Julius produced the high-energy electronic music album, Epic, which includes nine instrumental electronic tracks and five trance-pop songs. The production of two music library albums, the groovy Tekno Chemistry and the ambient-electronic ElectroScapes followed, both of which featured haunting melodies, extensive sound design and synthesizer programming. Later focusing exclusively on various electronic styles, Julius created music for countless film-, television- and advertising projects of various sizes, from corporate spots like the Davey® Award-winning ad Walk and music for American Airlines, to international blockbusters such as Adam Sandler’s You Don’t Mess with the Zohan (2008), Paul Blart: Mall Cop (2009), and The Zookeeper (2011).
Return to Independence
After working “behind the scenes” on movie projects for years, 2010 saw Julius’ comeback to his solo career with the release of Transitions. This compilation CD features previously unreleased music (written between 2006-2010) and marks the composer’s return to his truly original, non-film music compositions.
Following the events related to the Fukushima I nuclear accidents of 2011, Julius composed a powerful musical tribute, titled Hymn to The Fukushima 50, to honor the Fukushima 50, the men and women making a great sacrifice by performing work in abnormal levels of radiation at the damaged reactors. In exchange for donations, a free download of the Hymn to The Fukushima 50 track was offered. The piece received over 10,000 views in the first week on YouTube, and over 30,000 views within three weeks of its launch, resulting in approximately $10,000 in donations.
By the time Transitions was released, Julius’ desire to return to his pure electronic music roots grew, along with his frustration with “the film music industry’s lack of desire for originality” (quote). In 2009 the alias Forgotten Future was born (announced on July 12, 2014), with the goal to separate Dobos’ two identities: that of the for-hire film composer, from that of the independent electronic music producer with passion for emotionally captivating psybient music and unique, multi-layered sonic environments. According to Julius, the name itself was inspired by personal, unexplainable alternate reality experiences in or around 2007.
Planned as a 4-album series released under the Creative Shop Music label, forgotten future is a musical and ideological framework of a set of beliefs, related to the “big questions”: Who [we are], Why [are we here], Time, Space & Nature. According to Julius, the concept series “doesn’t have an agenda and is not affiliated with any recognized religions, however, it offers a sonic environment for the listener, in which one may be influenced to remember his or her future, and inspired to find their own answers to the ‘big questions'”.
The first installment of the series, forgotten future: W1 was released on April 24, 2015 in compact disc and 24-bit studio master digital download formats. While the intricate and often epic electronic instrumentation, unique, cutting edge sound design, processed field recordings and rich analog organic textures are all clear characteristics of the album, strong melodies reveal a clearly European approach to the psybient, ambient genre. The electronic music took Julius five years to produce, a large amount of which time he spent with generating and designing sounds. The 77-minute long album was mixed by Dobos himself, pre-mastered at Ultimae Records by Vincent Villuis (Aes Dana) and mastered by dark ambient pioneer Robert Rich.
The concept album’s booklet features the original work of various digital painters, photographs. The booklet and the music itself also contains countless [riddles], in the form of spoken words masked by heavy processing (such as an excerpt from JFK’s Rice University speech, reversed playback of sounds that tie in with the meaning of the related scene, hidden weblinks, Morse code and printed messages that can be only observed from a certain angle or in case of the digital booklet, at a certain level of monitor brightness. An innovative forgotten future online experience was also created at the time of the release, offering an interactive musical and visual mixing interface.
Musical Style and Instrumentation
Known for its monumental instrumentation, Julius Dobos’ music often involves the combination of electronic, traditional western and ethnic instruments. The extensive and creative use of analog and digital synthesizers and software play a major role in adding both emotional depth and sonic complexity to his works. Along with its distinctive style, Julius’ music clearly reveals his European roots, the haunting melodies and chord structures instantly create deep, intense emotional experience for the listeners regardless of their cultural or social background.
Today, forgotten future produces psybient and ambient electronic music that evokes deep emotions & memories with strong, haunting melodies, cutting-edge sound design, complex fragmented rhythms, and manifests unique moods through intricate and often epic instrumentation, processed field recordings and rich, evolving organic textures.
Currently living in the San Francisco Bay Area, Julius Dobos / forgotten future composes instrumental electronic music, exploring the uncharted territories of melody and sound. Julius is also a Distinguished Lecturer, teaching various courses in (electronic) music production, sound design, scoring and more. He beta-tests and creates presets & samples for new software and hardware, and occasionally designs soundscapes and music for sound installations.