The Future Sound of London (often abbreviated to FSOL) is a British experimental electronic music duo, formed in 1988 in Manchester, United Kingdom, and made up by Garry Cobain and Brian Dougans. Their music style covers most areas of electronic music, such as techno, drum and bass, house, trip-hop, ambient, dub, and often incorporates elements of jazz, classical and psychedelic rock. In addition to music composition, they are involved in 2D and 3D computer graphics, video, animation (in making almost all their own videos for their singles), radio broadcasting and creating their own electronic devices for sound making. They are mostly known for the ambient-dub single "Papua New Guinea" and the innovative ambient album Lifeforms.
They have released works under numerous aliases like The Future Sound of London (main moniker), Amorphous Androgynous, Yage, Humanoid, Amorphous Androgynous, Mental Cube, Q, Zeebox, Heads Of Agreement, Semtex, The Far-out Son Of Lung, Part-Sub-Merged, Art Science Technology, and many more.
Garry Cobain and Brian Dougans met in the mid 80s while studying electronics at university in Manchester, England. Dougans had already been making electronic music for some time, working between Glasgow and Manchester, when they first began working in various local clubs. In 1988, Dougans embarked on a project for the Stakker graphics company. The result was the club hit "Stakker Humanoid", issued under Humanoid alias. In the following three years the pair produced music under a variety of aliases, releasing a plethora of singles and EPs, including the successful bleep techno singles "Q" and "Metropolis".
The band achieved commercial success in 1991 with the seminal breakthrough ambient-dub track "Papua New Guinea", featuring a looping Lisa Gerrard (of Dead Can Dance) vocal sample and a bassline from Meat Beat Manifesto's "Radio Babylon". Other singles issued include Cascade, Expander, Lifeforms EP, The Far-Out Son of Lung and the Ramblings of a Madman, My Kingdom, We Have Explosive, Stakker Humanoid 2001, Papua New Guinea 2001, Papua New Guinea Translations.
FSOL's main studio albums are: the techno-influenced Accelerator (1991), the jazz-influenced ISDN (1994), the ambiental Lifeforms (1994), the experimental Dead Cities (1996), and the ambient tetralogy Environments (2007), Environments II (2008), Environments 3 (2010), Environments 4 (2012).
They released in 2006 a Best Of album entitled Teachings from the Electronic Brain, followed by a series of compilations with pieces recorded in the 90s, like From the Archives Vol.1 (2007), From the Archives Vol.2 (2007), From the Archives Vol.3 (2007), From the Archives Vol.4 (2008), From the Archives Vol.5 (2008), From the Archives Vol.6 (2010).
Under the moniker Amorphous Androgynous, Cobain and Dougans released the highly experimental Tales of Ephidrina (1993) and the psychedelic rock influenced albums The Isness (as FSOL in USA, 2002), Alice in Ultraland (2005), The Peppermint Tree and Seeds of Superconsciousness (2008), A Monstrous Psychedelic Bubble Exploding in Your Mind: Volume 1 (2008), A Monstrous Psychedelic Bubble Exploding in Your Mind: Volume 2 (2009), A Monstrous Psychedelic Bubble Exploding in Your Mind: Volume 3 (2010).
The pair also grew in repute as remixers, obliterating tracks by Curve, The Shamen, Robert Fripp/David Sylvian, Oasis, Massive Attack, Jon Anderson, Apollo 440, and rebuilding pieces of almost majestic complexity with the remnants. FSOL collaborated with Robert Fripp on "Flak", with Talvin Singh on "Life Form Ends", with Toni Halliday (of Curve) on "Cerebral", with Elizabeth Fraser (of Cocteau Twins) on the single version of "Lifeforms".
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