Future Sound of London

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Future Sound of London (FSOL) are a British electronic music band, the duo of Garry Cobain and Brian Dougans, one of the most influential electronic acts of the last 15 years. The pair are notoriously enigmatic and have rarely granted interviews. Their work covers a number of areas, including film and video, 2- and 3-D computer graphics and animation, the Internet, radio broadcasting as well as recorded music.

Although often labelled as ambient, Dougans and Cobain have demonstrated that they are too eclectic to be pigeon-holed into any particular genre. Their work covers most areas of electronic music, such as ambient, drum and bass, trip-hop, ambient dub, and often involves extreme experimentation. They have also garnered a reputation as remixers, transforming the work of a variety of different artists, including Curve, Robert Fripp, David Sylvian, Jon Anderson, and Apollo 440. The results are often novel and complex, and in some instances the original track is barely recognisable.

Contents

History

FSOL, as the band is sometimes called, was formed in Manchester, England, in the mid 80s. Dougans had already been making electronic music for some time when they first began working in various local clubs. In 1988, Brian embarked on a project for the Stakker graphics company. The result was Stakker Humanoid. Gary contributed to the accompanying album. A video was also produced.

In the following three years the pair produced music under a variety of aliases. Stakker Humanoid re-entered the UK chart in 1992, followed by the breakthrough ambient dub track Papua New Guinea, which was the first official Future Sound of London release. Virgin Records were looking for electronic bands and quickly signed them. With their new found contract they immediately began to experiment and the result was the Tales Of Ephidrina album, released under the Amorphous Androgynous alias.

Lifeforms followed in 1994 to critical acclaim. The new work was almost entirely free of percussion and was truly ambient across both discs. It was a top 10 hit in the UK album chart, and is still hailed as one of the greatest ambient electronica albums ever devised. 1994 also saw the release of ISDN, which was as close to a live album as most electronic acts get - it featured live broadcasts FSOL had made over ISDN lines to various radio stations worldwide. Its tone was darker and more rhythmic than Lifeforms.

In 1996 they released Dead Cities. The new material was a curious mix of ambient textures and hard gritty dance music. This album also featured a collaboration with the composer Max Richter. However, critics suggested that the duos musical output seemed to dry up following this release, save for a few 12" singles and remixes.

After a four year hiatus, and allegations of mental illness, Cobain and Dougans returned in 2002 with The Isness, a record heavily influenced by 60s and 70s psychedelia. It was preceded by Papua New Guinea Translations, a mini album which contained a mixture of remixes of FSOL's seminal classic as well as new material from The Isness sessions.

Aliases

  • Aircut
  • Amorphous Androgynous
  • Art Science Technology
  • Candese
  • Deep Field
  • Homeboy
  • Humanoid
  • Indo Tribe
  • Intelligent Communication
  • Mental Cube
  • Metropolis
  • Semtex
  • Semi Real
  • Smart Systems
  • The Far-out Son Of Lung
  • Yage
  • Yunie
  • Zeebox

Discography

Singles

  • Q (198-)
  • Crystals (Brian Dougans) (198-)
  • Stakker Humanoid (as Humanoid) (1988)
  • Stakker Humanoid (Part 2) (as Humanoid) (1988)
  • Slam (as Humanoid) (1989)
  • Tonight (as Humanoid featuring Sharon Benson) (1989)
  • The Deep (as Humanoid) (1989)
  • The Tingler (as Smart Systems) (19--)
  • AST (as Art Science Technology) (1990)
  • Mental Cube EP (as Mental Cube) (1990)
  • So This Is Love (as Mental Cube) (1991)
  • Principles of Motion EP (as Intelligent Communication) (1991)
  • Papua New Guinea (1991)
  • Fuzzy Logic EP (as Yage) (1992)
  • Stakker '92 (as Humanoid) (1992)
  • People Livin' Today (as Semi-Real) (1992)
  • Metropolis (as Metropolis) (1992)
  • Liquid Insects (as Amorphous Androgynous) (1993)
  • Cascade (1993)
  • Lifeforms (feat. Elizabeth Fraser) (1994)
  • Expander (1994)
  • The Far-Out Son of Lung and the Ramblings of a Madman EP (1994)
  • ISDN (Remix) (1995)
  • My Kingdom (1996)
  • We Have Explosive (1997)
  • Papua New Guinea Translations (2002)


Albums

  • Accelerator (1992)
  • Earthbeat (as Various Artists) (1992)
  • Tales of Ephidrina (as Amorphous Androgynous) (1993)
  • Lifeforms (1994)
  • ISDN (1994)
  • Dead Cities (1996)
  • The Isness (as Amorphous Androgynous, except in the U.S.A.) (2002)


Specials

  • the Otherness (Bonus 14 Track Album from the "the Isness & the Otherness" (2XCD SPECIAL LDT EDITION) (2003)

Remix work

External links

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