From the Archives Vol. 6 is a release from The Future Sound of London's From the Archives series. As with the rest of the series, the music within covers their unreleased 1990s experiments and songs that never made it to the albums released at the time. This particular volume begins with earlier material based around the band's acid techno years, and moves into more abstract and experimental work further into the album. Following the popularity of the previous two volumes, volume 6 is segued from start to finish, with no gaps between tracks.
First recognized as the dance duo behind the club hits "Stakker" (as Humanoid) and "Papua New Guinea," Future Sound of London later became one of the most acclaimed and respected international experimental ambient groups, incorporating elements of techno, classical, jazz, hip-hop, electro, industrial, and dub into expansive, sample-heavy tracks, often exquisitely produced and usually without easy precursor. Notoriously enigmatic and often disdainful of the press, the group's Garry Cobain and Brian Dougans worked their future-is-now aesthetic into a variety of different fields, including film and video, 2- and 3-D computer graphics and animation, the Internet, radio broadcast, and, of course, recorded music…
The Pulse EPs gathers together some of the strongest tracks FSOL recorded before the release of Accelerator (1991). Originally pressed as four 12" EPs between 1991 and 1992, the record collects 16 pieces under the band's more well known aliases of Mental Cube, Indo Tribe, Yage and Smart Systems, plus the first ever Future Sound of London tracks (which, "Hardhead" in particular, are far removed from the layered, abstract work the name is most famous for). On that level, there is little here for those wanting another Lifeforms or Dead Cities, but any fans of Accelerator are urged to get ahold of this, and it works as a more singular and focussed effort than the similar Earthbeat compilation, which veers jarringly from vocal house to ambient breaks and acid house…
The Future Sound of London’s long and varied history stretches back almost 25 years and as such a vast amount of unrealised material exists in the FSOL Archives. Archived 8 brings together another 12 such tracks; in some cases these are completed but unreleased songs from that time, in others the songs have been reconstructed or enhanced and then further mixed to form the journey. This album is not just a collection of random off-cuts. It is a fully realised album, worthy of sitting alongside the rest of the band’s critically acclaimed work.
The Future Sound of London (often abbreviated to FSOL) is a British experimental electronic music duo, formed in 1988 in Manchester, United Kingdom, and made up by Garry Cobain and Brian Dougans. Their music style covers most areas of electronic music, such as techno, drum and bass, house, trip-hop, ambient, dub, and often incorporates elements of jazz, classical and psychedelic rock. The original Environments album was conceived and written back in 1993, now on to its 6th instalment Environment Six and Environment 6.5, when combined, create a double album of 46 tracks. Sweeping between luscious dreamscapes to delicately melodically compositions to intensely highly programmed electronics sculptures Environment Six and Environment 6.5 continue the journey towards the boundaries of the future of sound.
FSOL are well known for their prodigious output, regularly going through periods of creating several tracks a day. Many of these tracks would be ‘lost’ only for not fitting current projects, created only for special live events and broadcasts or would change so drastically during the recording process that the original version would bear little resemblance to the released track. From the Archives seeks to give light to these tracks that are as good as anything released on their ‘official’ albums.
One of the first of the blissed-out rave acts to storm the charts, and also one of the longest lasting, the Future Sound of London deserved a good singles compilation, and fortunately they get one with the Virgin retrospective Teachings from the Electronic Brain. Their highest moments were virtually always their singles, and short-form tracks offer a much easier path to understanding the music of Brian Dougans and Garry Cobain than their occasionally bloated LPs. Teachings from the Electronic Brain neglects nothing of real value, beginning with their first chart hit ("Papua New Guinea") and grabbing the best tracks from their albums Accelerator ("Expander"), Lifeforms (the title track), the live-in-the-studio ISDN ("Far-Out Son of Lung and the Ramblings of a Madman," "Smokin' Japanese Babe"), and Dead Cities ("We Have Explosive"). Best of all, licensing requirements prevented the addition of material from 2002's half-baked The Isness.