After the success of their earlier release in 1994, Lifeforms, the duo that is The Future Sound Of London released another album in late 1994. This one is seen as another success in their retrospective back catalogue. Is it any good though? Let’s find out.
The first track Just A Fuckin’ Idiot begins with some audience chatter and a guy abusing the light handler for a stage set, and quickly goes into a surreal musical landscape, with some subdued beats and awesome textures. This is a great start to this album, and is very inspired. It sounds like nothing else out there, and is really quite interesting to hear. It has some real science fiction inspired sounds, not wholly unlike Techno, but original in its own way. This is an excellent listening experience, and it sounds darker than earlier material by the duo.
Next is The Far Out Son Of Lung And The Ramblings Of A Madman which begins with some ramblings, before going into an awesome drum beat and some quirky sounds, such as a distorted saxophone and some pretty out there textures. Of course, this is wonderfully brilliant and very listenable. If Lifeforms was the first stepping stone to success for FSOL, then this one is them achieving the glory of long term musical success. Very catchy, and definitely different. A wonderful and awesome piece, the saxophone here is brilliant. Captivating listening. Towards the end are some weird electronic noises.
Appendage begins with some eerie animal noises and reversed sounds, before launching into a fairly ambient sounding track. Some footsteps then enter. This is an unusual instrumental, but a very good one at that. It transcends time and place, which is rare for music to do just that. It’s difficult to see what this track is sonically about, but is excellent nonetheless.
Slider has some breakbeats and helicopter like noises at the beginning of the track. Before long, some really awesome melodies kick in. Distorted vocals and Acid sounds are here, too. This is a pretty cool track, and in many ways, is groundbreaking. Extra sounds enter the scene, and although this is a seven minute long piece, this is superb and excellent listening. A great example of FSOL at their creative best. There are a multitude of brilliant sounds, particularly of a discordant nature here. Some cut up female vocals are in the middle as well. This is a great piece of music, and definitely a highlight from this album. Excellent. This album showcases a future of electronic music that is wonderful and interesting. It gets very dark in the second half of the track, and towards the end goes very quiet, with a clock chime in the background. Some surreal delayed noises then finish this off. Top notch.
Next is Smokin’ Japanese Babe which sounds very lush from the beginning, with some interesting water sounds. A double bass then enters, and a great piece of music flows nicely which mixes some interesting sounds with a simple Jazz style band backing. This is amazing, and is definitely worth hearing. This is a surreal, psychedelic and fascinating listening experience. It’s just a nice piece to lie back and close one’s eyes to. A great piece of music, nice and relaxing. Beautiful and memorable. A soothing and reassuring listening experience. It gets weird towards the end of the track.
Following is You’re Creeping Me Out which does sound rather freaky at the start. It is a strange and quirky piece that quickly launches into some subdued beats. A processed Acid style melody then arrives to kickstart this track. This is really quite out there, yet awesome at the same time. Really wonderful and interesting listening, this is along the lines of IDM styled stuff. Some expertly placed sounds here keep this track going. This whole thing likely would be great to trip to, but is also equally enjoyable when sober. The second half is very minimal, and has great subtle sounds throughout. The outro is very sparse.
Eyes Pop – Skin Explodes – Everybody Dead is a shorter piece that has some odd sounds in it. This one is very eerie, sounding like it is out of a strange computer game. A haunting harpsichord like melody then enters. This is really different to everything else recorded out there, which is why this album is so special. Some Ambient music sounds are here towards the end, and there are no beats, just brilliant sonic textures. It sounds very electronic towards the end in its sounds, unlike anything else recorded. Brilliant.
It’s My Mind That Works is another short piece that has a melancholy edge to it. A wonderful and interesting piece that has many digitized sound effects, this is very impressive. About halfway through, some tom-tom drums enter, making this a suspenseful journey through space and time, at least musically. Very surreal, very different and very good. This is an awesome listen. Great stuff guys.
Next is Dirty Shadows which is a great piece that begins with eerie delayed sounds. This is rather odd. Samples of children laughing and other strange noises are here. Some pitch shifted vocals then enter, before some nice percussion arrives as well. This is an awesome sonic landscape for artistry, and puts a lot of the electronic music today to shame. A highlight of the album, and very enjoyable, it is quite catchy too. The atmospheric nature of these tracks on this album are really amazing. Piano emerges towards the end of this track. Nice to hear. The outro is weird.
Following is Tired which continues the musical journey throughout a different dimension. Some processed drum sounds then come along for the journey. It’s almost like Nine Inch Nails minus the metal and the gory, suicidal stuff. Next, we are seemingly in nature again, just like in Lifeforms. Some unusual vocal melodies (wordless) arrive. These guys must have dug a lot of Pink Floyd, it is seemingly inspired by that kind of music. This is a very good listen. It gets rhythmic in the second half, but without any drums. Brilliance on record this music is. Frogs croaking are towards the end. Beautiful music, and definitely worth hearing.
Egypt is next, and is definitely an ode to the gateway of Africa. Some killer beats and a beautiful vocal melody are here, before extra melodies enter here. A great way to showcase a truly international form of music, the FSOL do wonderfully here. Minimal and interesting simultaneously. About halfway through, the beats and melodies stop momentarily, before returning straight into the main track. Very cool, an awesome listen. The outro is interesting.
Kai comes next, beginning with some really excellent Techno/Acid sounds, before some really awesome breakbeats enter this track. It is so well done that it easily puts many bands and musicians to shame. An energetic, interesting and essential listen, this is a rare beauty in music. Sounding amazing and very artistic, this is a great musical effort. The second half is in particular really good. A great tune, this is one to come back to. Brilliant.
Next up is Amoeba that is a five minute long piece that seemingly has some sounds from earlier on in the album. It has some Surf Rock style guitar, before going into some really good beats. The music here is very intelligent, showcasing the FSOL as musical legends. Their hard work and years in the wilderness had paid off by this point. This song, just like the rest of the album, is a fine and essential listen. The beats here in particular drive this track along. A great effort, and very memorable. Alternating between breakbeats, this is one cool vibe. Masterful work. The outro is pretty freaky, and there is near silence in that part of the track.
Following is A Study Of Six Guitars which begins with some strange sounds and some loose bass guitar notes, before some lovely guitar playing enters. The melody is hopeful and optimistic throughout, and there are some other strange sounds here, too. A nice and relaxing listen, a lot of slide guitar based sounds are here too. Very trippy and odd, this is a great listen all the same. The super long outro is rather odd, and seems a little out of place. Still, it’s good.
Snake Hips is the last track here on this recording and has a Rock sort of instrumentation and drums, along with other cyber melodies. This is a nice way to finish off this record, and there are some processed Rock music sounds throughout this track. Some wah-wah guitar is here, along with other interesting sounds. A strange set of breakdowns occurs throughout this track. A great piece of music. Some of the delayed trumpet sounds here are really quite awesome. Pretty cool. It gradually gets simpler towards the end, with a repeating melody and gentle fade out.
This is definitely a great recording without question. Lifeforms may have been the real starting point for the successes of The Future Sound Of London, but this cemented that status. A great sonic journey from a great era in Electronic music, this puts modern artists such as Billie Eilish to shame. A great album from start to finish.