Future Sound Of London


Accelerator

Future Sound Of London - Accelerator ©1991 EBV/Hypnotic
1. Expander
2. Stolen Documents
3. While Others Cry
4. Calcium
5. It's Not My Problem
6. Papua New Guinea
7. Moscow
8. 1 In 8
9. Pulse State
10. Central Industrial
11. Expander: Remix
12. Moscow: Remix
13. Papua New Guinea: Graham Massey Mix

The first full length from Future Sound of London is really nothing more than a pleasant extended techno song spread out over the course of an hour. Essentially one thumping beat seems to be used throughout and although there is actual variation from song to song, the overall flow and feel remains essentially the same all the way through. FSOL's more airy and expansive soundscapes are not as evident on Accelerator and instead the music comes across more as electronic sound effects riding skew and angular around the beat. But as you sit through the album, the tendency to fall into a trancier mood is very likely as the constant thumping and smooth sounds tend to lead to that sort of thing. There are occasional voices, most notably in "Papua New Guinea", which features a hovering, light female voice riding above the music. On tracks like "Pulse State", the outfit pulls off the motif of the album to maximum effect, creating a monotonous but effective sound with most of the elements demonstrated throughout. Accelerator will appeal to those who favor a beat oriented type of electronic music but the general appeal does exist throughout.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 04/2000

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Lifeforms [Single]

Future Sound Of London - Lifeforms Single ©1994 EBV/Astralwerks
1. Lifeforms (path 1)
2. Lifeforms (path 2)
3. Lifeforms (path 3)
4. Lifeforms (path 4)
5. Lifeforms (path 5)
6. Lifeforms (path 6)
7. Lifeforms (path 7)

This rather lengthy single (nearly forty minutes) takes on some of the sounds heard in the double disc Lifeforms (yes, they both share the same name, for the sake of confusion) and warps them a bit further. The single version of Lifeforms sheds some of the more expansive ambience of the double CD release and hones things down into a bit more honed listening experience. Even though this supposedly is just reworking existing songs, the seven paths are practically entirely new songs that, at best, share the occasional similiar theme and sound. Regardless of all that, the single Lifeforms is an excellent listen due to both its serene and settling qualities as well as its deviance into bizarre sounds. The single on a whole works as a musical journey, almost entirely electronically created, but very satisfying in the end. Even within all the echoing voices, bouncing percussion effects and occasionally uncomfortable tonalities, there is a strong atmosphere and unifying thread throughout. Definitely a great companion to the more surreal and exploratory double disc and a fine piece of ambient/techno/electronic music.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 07/2000

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Far-Out Son Of Lung And The Ramblings Of A Madman [Single]

Future Sound Of London - Far-Out Son Of Lung And The Ramblings Of A Madman ©1995 EBV
1. Far-Out Son Of Lung And The Ramblings Of A Madman
2. Snake Hips
3. Smokin Japanese Babe
4. Ameoba

Taken essentially from ISDN, which was recorded live from an internet show, Far-Out Son of Lung and the Ramblings of a Madman is a decent little sampler CD. Though revolving around a motif of beats and percussion, there tends to be a bit of an improvisational feel to the group's electronic music, which is actually quite a neat trick if you can pull it off. A lot of the sounds are unconventional for the most part, often with different little effects bouncing and echoing around in space and leaving the listener with the task of sorting things out to make sense of it. Luckily the music is tame enough to harness so that the process isn't painful or difficult. A lot of horn samples are used throughout the album, giving it a bit of a more exotic feel than previous FSOL releases. The lonesome guitar plucking sample at the beginning of "Smokin' Japanese Babe" tends to add to this exotic, far-away-from-home feel. Overall the music presented here is much less danceable and more suited for ambient journeys than anything. And it only will be slightly disturbing.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 04/2000

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Dead Cities

Future Sound Of London - Dead Cities ©1996 EBV/Astralwerks
1. Herd Killing
2. Dead Cities
3. Her Face Forms In Summertime
4. We Have Explosive
5. Everyone In The World Is Doing Something Without Me
6. My Kingdom
7. Max
8. Antique Toy
9. I. Quagmire
10. Glass
11. Yage
12. I. Vit Drowning
13. First Death In The Family

By the time Dead Cities rolled around after the expansive and somewhat consciousness-altering two disc set of Lifeforms, Future Sound of London had modified their sound only somewhat and possibly made the album a bit more straight forward - assuming that's possible for for the outfit. On certain songs, FSOL is much more aggressive and in your face with stronger beats and more abrasive sounds, such as "We Have Explosive". On the flipside, other songs are built on harmonic and angelic choir voices or piano and soft synth washes. The direct opposition from the harsher sounds of "We Have Explosive" to the more serene and floating "Max" makes for a more diverse album. The percussion and programming throughtout the album also ranges from the edgier and harsher sounds to quietly appropriate backing, depending on how soft or serene the music is. The result, especially through headphones, is yet another tripped out and multi-dimensioned listen that transcends the typical barriers of what "techno" and "electronica" are supposed to be. Definitely a pleasing album, regardless of its more abrasive moments.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 09/2000

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We Have Explosive [Single]

Future Sound Of London - We Have Explosive Single ©1997 EBV/Astralwerks
1. We Have Explosive (Pt. 1)
2. We Have Explosive (Pt. 2)
3. We Have Explosive (Pt. 3)
4. We Have Explosive (Pt. 4)
5. We Have Explosive (Pt. 5)
6. We Have Explosive (oil Funk Remix)
7. We Have Explosive (Mantronik Plastic Formula)
8. We Have Explosive (Oil Dub)
9. We Have Explosive (radio Edit)

For whatever it is worth, Future Sound of London certainly doesn't mess around when they release a "single", featuring nine tracks measuring nearly fifty minutes in length. Unfortunately for this particular single, "We Have Explosive" is simply one of my least favorite tracks from Dead Cities and sitting through this entire disc is a test of endurance. The original track is one of the group's more aggressive and beat heavy songs, using too much aggravating sound tones for my comfort. The mantra, "We Have Explosive", and certain song segments are reprised through the nine visitations, but only the fourth and fifth tracks really grab what it is I like about FSOL. Those two take a more atmospheric, quiet approach and are much more pleasant than the beat frenzy elsewhere on the disc. Naturally if you are an FSOL enthusiast, this "single" is something worth picking up to complete the whole picture presented on Dead Cities, but I'd suggest going for another disc if you are still fairly new to the group.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 03/2000

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