Future Sound of London – "From the Archives," Volumes 1, 2 & 3

Posted: June 23rd, 2007 | Author: | Filed under: Album Review, Ambient, Ambient Techno, Audio-Visual, Breakbeat, Events, House, Techno, Web Culture | No Comments »


The pioneers from Electronic Brain Violence have returned with three expansive volumes of previously unreleased material. “From the Archives” was first released a few months ago on FSOL Digital, the Future Sound of London’s online store. I bought these files but couldn’t resist the physical CD versions. I’m not sorry I forked over the extra cash either. Buggy G. Riphead provides all the new cover and booklet artwork, his methods still yielding stunningly surreal results, while accompanying text tells a freeform, impressionistic story.

Tracks seem to be pulled from various periods, stretching as far back as “Accelerator” and going up to “Dead Cities,” with an emphasis on their “Lifeforms” phase. All three are worth buying. For fans, this is a treat, with several standouts like “Turn Around,” “Brujo,” “Still Flowers” and “Long Shadows.” More jamming than many of their albums, all 52 tracks also provide new insight into FSOL’s creative process with many familiar, reworked samples making this both a nostalgic and excitingly fresh journey. For newcomers, a vast electronic world haunted by cerebral phantasms and visionary thunder awaits.

A live FSOL performance at 1997′s Essential Brighton Festival:

It really gets going toward the end with an epic take on their classic “Papua New Guinea.”

So “Archives” reignites a burning question, will Gaz Cobain and Brian Dougans soon return to their once futuristic bent? I was told in an interview by Gaz around the time of their rock-inspired “Isness” album, that they planned to get back into techno with fresh energy. They recently did a sound installation that had murmurings of a more electronic approach. Their next step seems logical and intuitive.

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