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Lifeforms
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Performer Notes
  • Future Sound Of London: Gary Cobain, Brian Dougans.
  • Recorded at EarthBeat Studios, London, England.
  • This album--or soundscape, as it could be described--is quite simply spellbinding. Released during an especially productive period for the loosely termed "ambient music," LIFEFORMS had considerable impact upon the musical picture of 1994. Few (if any) outfits could claim to have bettered FSOL's epic offering that year.
  • LIFEFORMS equally rewards both intensive and passive listening. Intensive listening reveals a taut structure, with long periods of timelessness suddenly pushed onward by contemporary dub and house beats. Passive listening gives a 90-minute collage of sound that provides a chilled-out antidote to the pace of modern life. Running water, distant chants, tribal rhythms, and various Eno-esque noises are all presented here in glorious surround-sound. Listening on headphones reveals the beauty of the soundscape even more brilliantly. FSOL must have spent many a late night learning how to employ sound technology so well. It's time well spent, though, as LIFEFORMS is a masterpiece that stands comparison with great ambient albums by the Orb, Brian Eno, and the KLF. Recommended without reservation.
Professional Reviews
Spin (9/94, p.142) - Highly Recommended - "...God bless the Future Sound Of London--Gary Cobain and Brian Dougans--for striving to infuse personality and humanity into the chip-driven technoscape..."

Alternative Press (7/95, p.115) - "...Future Sound Of London's flowing material forms true sound gardens, within which can be heard the rich heritage of the masters of the first Golden Age of Electronics: Klaus Schulze, Ash Ra Tempel, and Tangerine Dream..."

Option (11-12/94, p.117) - "...LIFEFORMS is sensory overload that engages the mind instead of alienating it. Throughout the 92-minute program, the `trips' that ambient techno aims to replicate happen naturally and vividly..."

New York Times (Publisher) (1/5/95, p.C15) - Included on Jon Pareles' list of the Top 10 Albums Of '94 - "Ambient music that dares to have a personality..."

NME (Magazine) (12/24/94, p.23) - Ranked #37 in NME's list of the `Top 50 Albums Of 1994.'
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