Future Sound of London - Dead Cities
Release date: October 18th, 1996
Label: Virgin Records
Genre: Ambient, Techno, Breakbeat
"My mind cannot be focused without pure music, and no, I don't use only meditation stuff. Most of the music I use to concentrate is ambient and IDM-techno, today I have a mood of listening an iconic music duo from UK; Future Sound of London left a legacy on the 90's underground electronic scene with a bunch of ambient/techno albums, reviewers can tag that band as ambient, but the London duo doesn't like tags (I agree, they are judgemental). Dead Cities starts with "Herd Killing", an overwhelming breakbeat adding samples used on "We Have Explosive" next to a mysterious and sinister phrase: "I have killed a man, a man that looked like me" and chaotic rhythms, you can use the homonymous song ("Dead Cities") as a soundtrack for an end of the world related movie, the song finishes with a melodic echo, chaotic predominant sound and a creepy girl murmuring. "Her Face Forms the Summertime" has drone samples and psychedelic acoustic melodies, adding trip-hop/turntablism beats. Next is one of the most popular tracks of FSOL; "We Have Explosive", an extreme breakbeat mix of alarms, riffs, explosive mood and a robotic voice saying: "We Have Explosive!". For the next track, it starts with a distorted male voice, tribal drums, drone vibes, (probably) the sound of a bull and the opera singing of Rebecca Caine: "Everyone in the World is Doing Something Without Me" ladies and gentleman, the title (I think) is a bit emo or drama queen. The former track fades and passes to an incoming soundscape-track mixing samples of Vangelis, Ennio Morricone, Gheorghe Zamfir and Ozric Tentacles into a majestic fantasy called "My Kingdom". After screams of children, "Max" is a piano composition to give you sweet dreams, adding flutes, harps and orchesta vibes, often you can listen a part of the song backwards but don't worry, it's not shocking, this ends with another opera singing. The piano magic ends and here comes an IDM-esque track, probably "Antique Toy" will remind you Aphex Twin or Autechre songs. The next song title is large as f*ck; "Quagmire / In A State Of Permanent Abyss", just to get clear, the first part is possibly an attempt of Drum and bass mimicking, but they did well at all, I wish this song could be on a James Bond movie, next second part "In a State..." is a magic and lustful but short soundscape you can feel relaxed. "Glass" keeps the magic, I can imagine a travel to an exotic world, and this song as the background, it's beautiful and perfect, definetely. Now "Yage" makes reference to the engineer which works with this duo and also another alias of FSOL, it keeps a bit magical but mostly experimental and soothing, with voice sample of screams, drones and Asian melodies, a curious detail, there's a remix of this song which is featured only on a longform video called "Teachings from the Electronic Brain". Now is turn to techno with "Vit Drowning / Through Your Gills I Breathe", sure it's bloody good, the title makes reference of a friend of FSOL, Vit, a chinese restaurant owner which he featured several videos of Future Sound of London (Snake Hips, Amoeba, My Kingdom and Teachings from the Electronic Brain longform video). The last track has hidden songs into: "First Death in the Family / Silence / Dead Cities reprise (hidden track by Headstone Lane)" ends with hard techno style, then 1 minute of silence (literally) and an alternative-rock esque song".
- Dead Cities
- We Have Explosive
- Everyone in the World is Doing Something Without Me
- My Kingdom
- Vit Drowning
Veredict: If I should make a huge of list of best ambient albums, of course I would. Dead Cities is a perfect iconic album of the underground scene of England on the 90's, that decade was undoubtedly the best time of underground electro like ambient, IDM, breakbeat, techno, house, DnB, jungle and trance.
10/10 - Recommended
Audio Bullys - Generation
Release date: October 31st, 2005
Genre: House, Alternative hip hop, Breakbeat
"Many biggest reviews pages destroyed this album with bad critics, I started to listen Audio Bullys this year and I think Pitchfork reviewers should sit and spin. Well who cares about those freaking hipsters? Music must be appreciated and Audio Bullys' Generation album is a complete loop of experiments with house, hip hop and breakbeat. "Shot You Down" personally impresses me, joining a Nancy Sinatra song, bullets and great house. Personally since "Keep on Moving" makes a perfect bunch of styles, rhymes and rhythm, neutral lyrical of course and authenticity. Hip hop is not my cup of tea but since I listened Nujabes, it's a different kind of hip hop, not commercial and overrated. We cross through turntablism, house and breakbeats, "Generation" reminds me a Lemon Jelly song called "Stay With You". I prove this is not lame as those Pitchfork chin-strokers says. "I Won't Let You" is a sophisticated house with breakbeat (like Basement Jaxx and Fatboy Slim). "Eq-Ing" has a little something of Chemical Brothers and Fatboy Slim, "Made Like That" returns with hip hop and cool rhymes, "All Sing Along" can make you dance and spin and be a sensation on dance, "Get Myself on Track" keeps a chilling turntablism mood to let through "I'm in Love" (personally my favorite song of Generation"), a strange love related breakbeating track. "Take You There" makes an introduction of classic disco and new jack swing samples to mix it with his style. Now "This Road" is mostly mellow and less breakbeat, electronic with predominant use of a tambourine and "Struck by the Sound" is closely a cross of jazz and house. In a personal though, Generation gives me the sensation of house and hip hop and breakbeat perfection and heritage".
- Shot You Down
- Keep on Moving
- Made Like That
- All Sing Along
- Get Myself on Track
- I'm in Love
Veredict: I do love alternative hip hop, more than overrated. I am pretty sure if you are into hip hop, you probably would love this album. Hope you have an open mind to listen it, if you love a lot hip hop, especially if it's underground or not.
9/10 - Recommended
Emergency Broadcast Network - Telecommunication Breakdown
Release year: 1995
Label: TVT Records
Genre: Electronic, Breakbeat, Industrial, Sound collage
"There's a wide definition of "weird" and people link it with Asian people (proven with shocking videos or Japanoise bands performance or products). But stop being judgemental, people on the 90's probably didn't know about this project of 1990; Emergency Broadcast Network from Rhode Island. The big difference between them and (an example) Japanoise bands is because EBN uses in their music and videos a lot of samples of news reports, documentaries, old TV shows and political messages, persuading the people to "watch television", but their style is a undefined but I can link it as breakbeat, and the usage of samples on their (longform) videos probably reminds you a "Youtube Poop", now think again, not all the weird stuff comes from Japan. Well I'll stop defining and linking the weirdness. Most of these songs are pure breakbeat and the entire composition is cut phrases making a phrase, it's the same case with their former longform video "Commercial Entertainment Product". An example is on "Search": "I feel better about myself, I love the characters, I love the special things, my TV and VCR do exactly what I say...". Two tracks from their former longform video are featured on this music album but very different: "Station Identification" and "Get Down, Get Down 2.2". Also this album features the collaboration of Jack Dangers from Meat Beat Manifesto and also a help of Brian Eno, Bill Laswell, Jamie West-Oram and Grandmaster Melle Mel".
- Electronic Behavior Control System
- Get Down, Get Down 2.2
- Homicidal Schizophrenic (A Lad Insane)
Veredict: I never heard something like that, but this (currently dropped) band makes a nice job on creativity, and it has no limits, if you play an instrument which has nothing to do with the genre, what's the matter? EBN probably makes the difference and a good job of experimentating.
7/10 - (Not at all) recommended