Pre-FSOL and obscure side projects, 80s-95ish
As aforementioned in a previous post in this series, Dougans and Cobain were involved in various projects prior to, and even after adopting the FSOL guise. Naturally, each project toyed with a different electronic genre, though they tended to overlap at times. Here’s a short guide to the various side projects, their genres, releases and whatnot.
Dougans for the most part ran this project on his own, except for the brief time he was involved with Stakker, a graphics group who eventually folded. During the brief stint, Humanoid launched several successful singles (mostly stomping techno and acid tracks), most notably, the “Stakker Humanoid” single that still rocks the dance floor to this day. A massive reissue came out a few years ago that housed various new remixes and live sessions (see “Your Body Robotic” 2cd set). Also see video and/or vinyl soundtrack, “Eurotechno” from his days with Stakker.
Only one single was issued but it featured the duo together. This was mostly a house outfit, and the tracks can be found on youtube.com if you look hard enough. Releases: “You Took My Love” via 12” vinyl.
Smart Systems: 1991-1992
A hardcore project that funded one single and various appearances on the duo’s “Pulse” EP series. This is the first time, I think, we hear Garry on vocals, though it is uncredited (see the “Meltram” mix). This single got a 2008 CD reissue, if anyone is interested. Releases: “The Tingler” and various issues thereof.
YAGE: 1991, 2008
On many FSOL albums, Yage is credited as being their engineer but he actually doesn’t exist. That is kind of odd, but it did produce a single in 1992 and was picked up again in 2008 with a full length album. The single was more on the house/techno format while the album leaned more towards ambient. Releases: “Fuzzy Logic EP” via 12” vinyl and the “Woodlands of Old” CD album.
Mental Cube: 1990-1992
A house project that created the massive hit “Q”. It sounds dated but I enjoy that track immensely. Prices for the vinyl singles that feature that track are very high, so keep an eye out for cheaper prices if you can. Releases: “Child of the Bass Generation” “Q” “So This is Love” all on 12”.
Another hardcore project, releasing a semi-successful second single in 1991. Occasionally, this project will appear on a modern DJ mix set, showing that it did make an impact. Releases: “Eternal” and “Visual Attack” on 12”.
Indo Tribe: 1991-1992
Another house/techno project that only released material on the “Pulse” EP series. Some tracks appeared on other compilations, including the “Future Sound of Infinite” 4cd set.
Art Science Technology: 1990
Falling somewhere in the acid house/techno/whatever-the-hell-this-is category is this little project. The tunes are so damn catchy that I have to admit, this is probably one of my favorite of their side projects. Releases: “AST” on 12”
Dope Module: c.1991
I don’t know much about this other than it briefly showed up here and there back in the day, but got most of its exposure when FSOL released the “By Any Other Name” compilation a few years back.
Far Out Son of Lung: 1994-1995
When I actually get a copy of this, it’ll get its own entry here, but until then, this will do. Existing briefly to showcase some ISND live material, this project saw one single and one other track on the “Excursions in Ambience: The Fourth Frontier” compilation in 1995. Releases: “Ramblings of a Madman (Smokin Japanese Babe)” 12” white vinyl.
Branching out of house, finally, we have a single of future jazz/trip hop material, complete with a female vocalist… who goes uncredited, sadly. This is not one of their well-known side projects, despite the decent tune that it spawned. Prices are fairly low for this. Releases: “I Can See For Miles” on 12” vinyl.
Intelligent Communication: 1991
Releasing one EP and then kind of vanishing off of their agenda. This remained more in the typical vein of dance oriented techno and house music. Releases: “Principles of Motion EP” on 12” vinyl.
Semi Real: 1992
A catchy and free spirited house project clearly designed for the dance floor and not much else. This is seriously a thumping release! This project shows up on several compilations and mixes from the past to the present, as well as the “Earthbeat” compilation the duo released in the early 90s. Releases: “People Livin’ Today” on 12” and CD.
If you’re curious and are looking for audio samples of these tunes before you buy the vinyl, the bulk of these can be found on youtube.com if you poke around a little. This should give you an idea of what the duo were up to prior or even during their stint as FSOL. Yes, some of these will sound dated and others may not have aged well at all, but others really are not so bad and still find themselves being used in modern mixes by other artists. And some still are getting small reissues with one or two new remixes added in.
I will eventually follow this up down the line with a list of modern side projects they are working on, as well as a few solo efforts.