The Life and Time of the Future Sound of London, pt. 11 and 12

Artist: FSOL

Title: The Far Out Son of Lung and the Ramblings of a Madman

Released: 1995

Label: Virgin

Format: 12”, CD, cassette

Genre: IDM, abstract, ambient, experimental

Allegedly, this single/EP was released to bridge the gap between the initial release of ISDN (the limited edition) and its reissue.  Of course, there isn’t much difference between the tracks that appear here and the versions of these that are on the album.  That said, I have a feeling this may be a short review…

The mix here, however, is solid whereas the album has these tracks spaced out greatly in a completely different order.  It kind of gives the listener an idea of how streamline their live ISDN shows would sound like.  The other big difference here is that “Snake Hips” gets a longer working here, with a big segment that is radically different.  It’s wilder, certainly.  If you don’t own the album, it’s up on youtube.com as “Snake Hips pt. 1.”  To an extent, it sounds a lot like their rarer track, “Cow.”

I would say, overall, this isn’t a bad piece to own.  The mix is a nice and fluid and it is nice to get that since the LP tends to jump around.  But, should you buy this?  Despite the minor differences, there is a lot of similarities between this and the LP, and therefore, may not be the best thing to buy if you’re looking for something different entirely.  You’re just not going to get as much variety.  Though, since that is the case, if you feel that you must have this, perhaps it would be cool to get this in a different format (for example, if you have the CD version of ISDN, get the 12” version of this) so you won’t feel like you’re not getting much out of it.  The cover art alone is very spiffy.

Perhaps things would have been more interesting if FSOL had thrown a few rare tracks on here rather than repeats.  I mean, after all, many singles feature those, right?  I suppose that is kind of a trivial argument but I figured it had to get mentioned.  So, it would really be up to you if you want this.  I’m seeking the vinyl copy, myself.

3.75 out of 5.

Well, that was short.  Let’s try for a twofer…

Title: My Kingdom

Released: 1996

Label: Virgin, Astralwerks

Format: CD, 12”

Genre: IDM, ambient, downtempo

It took the duo quite a while to put out their next effort, mostly due to extensive ISDN “tours.”  And, at last, FSOL have many of their old transmissions up for digital download on their page for a small price.

Not too long before the release of “Dead Cities,” there came this single.  Following the same format of earlier singles, there are several different ‘paths’ the track takes, each taking on a different mood and direction.  I’m kind of wishy washy about this single.  It is a tad bit on the repetitive side, much like “Cascade,” however, at times there is enough variety here to get your fix.  I mean, track one clocks in at just over ten minutes and one of the later versions is pretty heavy and intense compared to the original.

My big complaint is that there isn’t enough variety to give me what I’m looking for.  If the tracks could vary more, perhaps toy with some other genres or feature remixes by a few other artists, I would be fine.  For some reason, I feel like Dj Shadow would have made a superb remix…

Well, I guess with this one, it really depends on the mood I am in.  Some days I don’t care how it doesn’t seem to vary all that much but then again, there are days I have to shelve it because of that very reason.

So, should you buy this?  Again, much like “Far Out Son of Lung…” this might have been better if I had picked it up on vinyl.  If you’re a completest, sure, go and grab this but if you’re the more casual listener, you may want to skip over this.  It just won’t give you the bang for the spins.

3.5 out of 5.

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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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