Sunday, 11 April 2021

11/04/21 - Fractional Difference blog

Between 2001 and 2014, I ran a fansite with the catchy name Welcome to the Galaxial Pharmaceutical, although it was generally known by my domain name, Second Thought. I also had a FSOL wiki for a few months in 2018, before accidentally deleting it. Many readers will know this blog from being part of the Second Thought site.
Anyway, preamble aside, I've recently started a new page called Fractional Difference. The aim is to go through every release, and every track, and provide some analysis of each, both objective and subjective. Each release will also be linked from a general Discography page, which is something that I don't think exists elsewhere on the internet at the moment and is much needed.
You can read and follow the blog at

11/04/21 - Listening Beyond the Head Chakra not due until 2022

Replying to a Facebook question about whether the new Amorphous album will be out this year, Gaz replied "I doubt it". So we still have some time to wait for that. However, the longform Mantra single is now expected later this year, rather than after Head Chakra. So, small mercies.

Friday, 9 April 2021

09/04/21 - We Have Explosive and Accelerator tracklists revealed

We Have Explosive has some very to-the-point titles...
01. We Have Explosive 2021
02. Implosive
03. Abandoned Housing Blocks Of Prypiat
04. Vaporise
05. Detonation
06. Herd Killing (2021)
07. Stasis Field
08. Waiting Your Return
09. Mib1
10. Exploding
11. Exotype

Accelerator is just the same album split over four sides, so basically an audiophile version. Given that the sides are meant to be played gaplessly, this version does seem a little pointless.

Wednesday, 7 April 2021

07/04/21 - Record Store Day 2021

This year, Record Store Day partially follows the pattern of last year's staggered format, with two drops. The first is on 12th June, and this will include a record three releases by Dougans and Cobain. The first, and most interesting, is the latest in the series of re-imaginings of the band's '90s tracks. This time, We Have Explosive is in the chair, with a set of new re-interpretations of the track. Given that the last two releases have featured archival works among the new tracks, it's possible that tracks like 'Exploded Funk', 'Abandoned Housing Blocks of Prypiat' and 'Blue Green' may be among the tracks here, but in general expect a series of new tracks based around the band's second-most-famous piece. An expanded CD version a couple of weeks later is, at this point, a near certainty. Interestingly, the cover and given title lists no 'Re-Imagined' or '2021', as with previous releases.

Secondly, The Amorphous Androgynous tease a forthcoming reissue of Alice in Ultraland with a 10" EP, with The World is Full of Plankton as the title track. The b-side will feature two as yet unknown tracks, apparently from the album too. This is clearly more for the collector, although taken on its own, it's really nice to see 'Plankton' get its dues as one of the finest compositions in the Dougans / Cobain ouvre. The album itself, of course, passed back into the band's posession last year at the end of their contract with Harvest; a reissue is overdue, and one hopes a bonus disc in the style of The Otherness will accompany it. No release details have been revealed for the reissue yet.

The third and final release is the most curious: Accelerator is coming out again, this time on its 30th anniversary (the minor issue of J&P delayed the 1991 release until the start of 1992 notwithstanding). There are no details on the Record Store Day page (linking, annoyingly, to the WHE page), but the full listings have it down as a double LP, suggesting there'll be some extra material here (a 12-minutes-per-side 2020s style release seeming unlikely, given it being mixed to play as two gapless sides). One assumes it's likely to be a set of 'Papua New Guinea' remixes on the second disc - possibly the same set as the 2001 reissue, given a vinyl release at last - although given the amount of archived material being regularly uncovered over at 9LW, it's not impossible that we're getting a whole album of Accelerator-era outtakes. The cover provided is the same 'remixed' version from the 2016 RSD release, so it's not totally impossible that it's actually a 12" + 7" pack as we had then, simply mislabelled by the people at RSD. We're going to do some digging, but either way we'll find out in the next few weeks...

07/04/21 - FSOL on Twitter

There's a new FSOL Twitter page for those who use it - follow @FSOLYage for news and updates.

Monday, 5 April 2021

05/04/21 - 3 Books and Calendars news

The release of Music for 3 Books and Music from Calendars has been put back a little due to inevitable Covid-related manufacturing delays. Wider distribution is expected to commence on 14th May, which means we should be expecting copies purchased from Bandcamp to be shipping this month at some point. The good news is we now have a tracklist for the Calendars compilation, and news that it will be released on CD as well as LP, catalogue number CDTOT80/LPTOT80.

Since 2017 FSOL have released whats called Calendar albums, which are digitally delivered monthly tracks that form a 12 track album by the end of the year. This release picks the best tracks from the last 4 years and brings them together in a seamlessly mixed 50 minute journey - 11 songs from FSOL, Humanoid and Synth-a engineered and mixed by Yage at FSOL's 9Lwest Studios.

Frozen Air
Near Field
Surrounding The Garden Is A Fog
Artificial Placement Of Emotion
Blacked Out Windows
Obscured By Dark Intervals
Memories Of Yesterday

Music for 3 Books has the catalogue number CDTOT81, and is described in the blurb as:
Over the past 5 years The Future Sound of London have released three A6 booklets - stories of FSOL's past - images and text. When purchased the books were accompanied by 20 mins of music - These have now been put these together to form a 1 hour seamless journey

The artwork for both releases has changed slightly from the Bandcamp editions:

Friday, 19 March 2021

19/03/20 - Roel Funcken to host FSOL Megamix

Tomorrow afternoon, between 1 and 5PM GMT, Roel Funcken (Funckarma, Cane, Mystery Artist) will host a four hour FSOL Megamix on his Mixlr channel. What will be of particular interest is that he promises to play some unreleased tracks. Tune in here!.