MUSIC FROM THE FUTURE2012-05-21 at 12:54 pm Blog RSS
Before losing the plot in the mid-nineties, Future Sound Of London created one of the best ambient albums ever (Lifeforms). It is a journey, full of weird and wonderful sounds (and the occasional melody) – on two discs. ISDN followed a year later. It was recorded live as it was transmitted (via ISDN) to several countries simultaneously. It is darker than Lifeforms. It has its moments. The bold beats which characterised the first album (Accelerator) reappeared on Dead Cities. There are few highlights though. It is a very dense album. Garry Cobain and Brian Dougans appeared to be running out of ideas.
Future Sound Of London took a long break. Cobain cited health problems. The duo returned with the Amorphous Androgynous project. Only the hardcore fans bothered with The Isness & The Otherness. Many of them were put off by the complete change of style (experimental psychedelia). Alice In Ultraland followed in 2005 – but it was mostly ignored. There have been several FSOL compilations (including box sets containing early recordings). I can’t comment on them as I haven’t heard them. I do have the Humanoid compilation Sessions 84-88 (released on Aphex Twin’s Rephlex label). Dougans created the music for the Humanoid project, which is basically underground acid-house (not unlike 808 State’s early output). Some of it is interesting. Most of it has dated badly.
Futureshock’s Phantom Theory is quite different. It is progressive house music (mainly without vocals). There was never a follow-up album. The Birmingham-based duo did make a number of remixes (for New Order, The Chemical Brothers, Underworld, Moby and others). If you like FC/Kahuna and/or Bedrock, you’ll probably enjoy Phantom Theory (if you can find it).
Fischerspooner’s #1 was one of the first electroclash albums. Influenced by many eighties bands, from Fad Gadget and Depeche Mode to Gary Numan and OMD, Warren Fischer and Casey Spooner presented a polished take on eighties synth-pop (with some squeaky bass lines thrown in for good measure). The songs on Odyssey are perhaps more accessible; mostly with full vocals. The album was less successful though. By the time the third album (Entertainment) was released four years later, nobody cared. Fischerspooner made a valiant attempt to be relevant but didn’t quite achieve it (at least not outside the US). Spooner said it best on track four: “In a modern world it’s hard to be heard.”
Fluke has a very distinct sound which runs through all of their albums (ie. It’s all a bit ‘samey’). The first full-length album (Six Wheels On My Wagon) was quite progressive at the time (1993). It is a mixture of musical genres (techno, house, trance, ambience, dub, etc). Oto has a very ‘spacey’ feel. The rhythms are generally slower and there are a lot of atmospheric effects. There are more vocals but they are often quite ridiculous. The next album (Risotto) includes remixed versions of two tracks from Oto (Tosh and Squirt). The rest of the music is generally fast-paced and exciting. Atom Bomb has been used in many movies. Risotto is Fluke’s best album.
Progressive History X includes all of the singles from 1993 onwards, plus two of the early singles (Thumper and Philly). Progressive History XXX is a triple-disc set which contains many rare remixes. It appeared to be the end of Fluke. However, there has since been one Fluke album (Puppy). It is similar in style to Risotto but not quite as good. Puppy was released nine years ago. There are currently no plans for another Fluke album.
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