The Life and Times of the Future Sound of London, pt. 9

Artist: FSOL

Title: Promo 500

Released: 1994

Label: Virgin

Format: 2×12” vinyl

Genre: Ambient, leftfield, IDM

By far one of the rarest pieces of music in the massive FSOL catalog, it was released towards the end of 1994, sometime after both editions of “Lifeforms.”  It featured three tracks that would later appear on the “ISDN” album: “Slider,” “Snake Hips,” and “You’re Creeping Me Out.”

Two fairly rare tracks appear on the second half of disc two.  A unique version of “Herd Killing” that only clocks in at less than two minutes starts things off.  It’s noisy and resembles the Semtex version of “We Have Explosive” in style and nature.  This track eventually got a reissue, digitally, on the Astralwerks single “The best of FSOL: Rare Tracks Edition.”  It would have been real nice if this got a CD release, as it also features the deleted tracks from the original limited edition version of “ISDN.”

“Live in New York” is the final track on this promo, and as luck would have it, also appears on the “Rare Tracks Edition” and “Rarewerks, Vol. 1.”  It is hailed as one of the rarest tracks in the band’s history.  It’s strange, somewhat dark and pulses loudly in spots with energy not really found elsewhere.  This is a track that has to be heard in order to get the point across; talking about it doesn’t really explain anything.

It is safe to say that the material here gave 500 lucky folks a taste of what would eventually become material on their ISDN sessions.  It certainly is extremely different from any of their previous releases and has not been replicated on anything after the ISDN album/EPs, with the exception of the archived series.  This release is highly sought after by FSOL enthusiasts and collectors alike.

Which brings me to my next point: Should you own this?

Well, the first three tracks are available on the album, so that kind of defeats the purpose.  However, you get two ultra-rare tracks here.  For the completest or the hardcore fan, this would make it a must-have release.  But, keep in mind: this is not a cheap item.  Prices tend to fluctuate, depending on who is selling it and what the demand seems to be.  Right now, prices are running between 27$ and 35$, but I have seen it go for much higher.

4 out of 5.

(Shortest review ever!)


About Nick H.

I'm a geek for music whether it be on vinyl, CD, 78 or whatever. My goal is to sniff out the greated music on Earth, specializing in the obscure. I make music myself as well, mostly ambient and sound collage (1 album out and a few remixes so far). I work full time as a professional mascot (it pays the pills) but will soon retire, i hope.
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