Tuesday, 15 January 2008

New news page - Environments released!

Yes, we return once more. This time the news page is updated as a blog, so hopefully we'll keep ontop of things a bit more in the future!

Major news!
Environments has finally been released. Only 13 years after its 1994 release date, the record - pieced together and remastered by Brian over the past few months - was released at the end of 2007. Futhermore, a release called 'By Any Other Name', featuring several unreleased pre-Accelerator pieces - is also available, alongside an 'official' release of Archive 4. Environments and Archive 4 are due out on CD sometime this year - apparently.

What is there to say about Environments? Other than it's now been changed to a FSOL release, rather than Amorphous Androgynous (not to confuse with the newer AA psychedelic stuff, most likely), it's an interesting beast. Sounding very similar to a 1994 ISDN show of sorts, but without all the annoying electronic 'Future Sound Of London Live Via ISDN' crap, the record is fairly structureless, although this may be largely to do with its two part format on the mp3 release. If a CD version comes out we'll be very interested in seeing if it features a proper tracklist. Plenty of familiar samples are in there - synths, spoken sections, even elements of other songs (the trance-ish synth from halfway through Cascade Part 1 becomes a Tangerine Dream-evoking ambient track in the first half of the record), even Papua New Guinea pops its head up in the first couple of minutes, albeit briefly.
It's tricky to say what the album suggests, in the manner of Lifeforms being lush, natural, jungle-like; Dead Cities being its industrial, city opposite. The record is claustrophobic, more like the album ISDN than anything, yet it doesn't feature any of that record's hip-hop breaks and jazz interludes.
Without knowing how similar this recently restored version is to the original planned release (it certainly sounds pretty authentic), it's a moot point, but it's hard to imagine how well the album would have been received in its time. Lifeforms, for all its "amazing how unstructured it is for FSOL!" reviews, is accessible in comparison to Environments.

Tracklist for the trainspotters...

Environments Part One (27.56)
Environments Part Two (21.14)

By Any Other Name is a different beats. Indo Tribe, Mental Cube, Yage, Smart Systems (bafflingly stealing Visual Attack in one case) and Dope Module (formerly a song, now an artist) - plus a rare early FSOL song - provide some regularly anonymous dated techno. The odd track shines - opener 'Sightings' by Mental Cube may well be one of their best tracks from the era - but it's a less essential release than its obvious comparison, Earthbeat. A curio and definitely worth hearing for fans, yet unsurprising that we've heard nothing on a CD release of the record.

Mental Cube - Sightings (04.32)
Indo Tribe - Just Look - And Let Me Look At You (04.41)

Dope Module - We Bring It (To You)
Yage - 831AM (05.52)
The Future Sound of London - Across The Rivers (04.29)
Dope Module - In A Cage - In A Can (04.52)

Smart Systems - Visual Attack (04.43)
Indo Tribe - Great Danger (05.05)
Mental Cube - Keep Walking (04.11)
Yage - Travellers (04.15)
Yage - Garden (Bridge) (03.04)
Smart Systems - You Might (04.44)
Dope Module - Kremlin Taped (01.48)
Dope Module - She's So Automatic (04.27)
Yage - Under The Rock (02.27)
Yage - 1st Calling (04.20)
Smart Systems - Corridor LM3 (03:44)

If the proposed CD releases of these actually happen, 2008 could well see Amorphous Androgynous' DVD, the FSOL DVD, Archive 4 (and maybe more), Environments, The Peppermint Tree & Other Seeds, and maybe even the new FSOL album. We'll definitely be getting a couple of these, so keep your eyes on the site.

Check out the discography section of the site now too, it's undergone a nice revamp which has made it a little less cluttered. All the digital releases are in their own sections at last, making the albums page look a little less like the work of the longest surviving group ever...


Steve Hawley said...

Hi - Thanks for keeping it going! Nice job on the site. Steve/alieninvader in Seattle

jayphex said...

Environments is top drawer - nice to get some new (well, sort of) FSOL stuff. I like the new AA bits and pieces, but FSOL is really where it's at. Just seen that a part 2 is now available. Time to spend some more money...