Muzik Magazine, September 2002: Bunch of FSOLs
Why have Future Sound re-recorded their new album...and ballsed it up?
"So you're like a lover retracting their love?" says Future Sound of London's Gary Cobain. "That's hard."
Gaz has a lyrical turn of phrase and a speaking style that would see him win the Commonwealth Games spiritual verbiage gold medal with ease. But yes Muzik is 'retracting its love'.
You may recall that we gave FSOL's The Isness (recorded under their old Amorphous Androgynous alias) a Spinal-Tap inspired six stars out of five.
"Ludicrous and heroic" and "flatulent, moving and monolithically impressive," it was an album of extremes.
Why 'was' you ask? Well, would you believe it, the fuckers have gone and re-recorded it. They've stripped out many of the album's more cosmic aspects, and fiddled with the track order so it comes in not with the bang of percussive, flute-led, crusty 'Hallelujah' chorus that was Elysian Fields, but instead creeps in with a pair of mule-drawn ambient tracks. So what happened? Gaz has a lucid (and lengthily expressed) reasoning for the album's 'new direction'.
"I've been working on this record for five years, and there are about 20 different versions of it recorded." he told Muzik. "I loved that incarnation Muzik reviewed, but it just had too much male energy, too much darkness. I wanted to get away from all that bullshit. The fact is that I could carry on working on this album forever, but I had to stop somewhere."
Yes, but why stop with this watered-down version of The Isness? It's not as if, even in this form, it's going to appeal to people hooked on the frosty digital sculpture of Lifeforms or the crunchy electro of Dead Cities. Art is meant to split opinions, to inflame debate, to be loved and hated. The version of The Isness that Muzik reviewed would have done just that. The version you'll find in the shops may have its moments, but it's a pale imitation of what it should have been.
Now, what am I offered for a rare promo CD of the original Isness mix?
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