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Every time there's a new release there's normally a fair bit of discussion in the relevant thread, so I thought it was about time to start a general FSOL thread. Also, I just started a new blog called Fractional Difference, in which I'll be going through every release and song, in order, and looking at various things... all the facts, connections with other tracks, and my own personal feelings about them. It's going to take forever (they released 180 tracks on the launch of FSOLDigital alone), but I'm quite looking forward to revisiting the whole catalogue over the next however long it takes.

So far I've done an About page which explains my discovery of the band and running the various fan sites I have over the years, a discography page which I'll fill in with links as the project goes along, and I've done a couple of entries, for Bacteria From a Baboon's Stomach and the original release of Stakker Humanoid.

Hopefully will be getting a few stories, bits of trivia and pics from Brian over the course of it to spice it all up.

Anyway, the blog is here if anybody fancies following: https://fractionaldifference.wordpress.com/

And, in terms of general discussion, this is still my all-time favourite piece of music:

Weird that it hasn't changed for nearly 25 years.

Edited by purlieu
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4 minutes ago, purlieu said:

I'd forgotten just how good the Omen Mix is. Absolute belter.

My favourite remix has always been Coby '94 Mix off Earthbeat (or Cobain Mix '94 on this) - I had the Earthbeat CD (alongside Accelerator) on repeat for many days in the early 90s.

Could you do one on Eurotechno? I've had the original VHS for what, about 30 years... it's still one of the best techno videos ever, Fairlight CVI in effect. The YT versions don't do it justice, it looks best directly from tape and on a tube television.

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Don't worry, I'll be doing that, and everything else Brian and Garry have put their hands to over the last 35 years. Original Humanoid era over the next week:

Peel Session
The Deep

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Posted (edited)

Humanoid Peel Session

Humanoid - Slam

Links to song-by-song info in the tracklist sections of both of those pages.

The Peel Session is great, has one of my favourite Humanoid tracks in it. Slam is the start of a run of releases which are frequently, er, 'not very good', but are kind of fascinating because of how they came together, with Brian gradually being forced out of his own project and it turning into a generic vocal house act directed by Morgan Khan. And thankfully there's Eurotechno to come at the end of it all.


Edited by purlieu
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Posted (edited)

Humanoid - Global


In Brian's words:


Now there's a story never told. In short, some tracks are not written by me - I never finished the album I was working on. I lived in a rat infested squat with drug addicts and prostitutes. The record company (Westside / Street Sounds) were FUKIN me - £££ and stitched me right up in contracts. I got very ill - legal stuff - rats - and had to escape. I returned to Glasgow and hid and got well.

In the mean time the record company brought in PETER BLACK who completed the album and wrote several tracks. He was paid off - simultaneously I was arming myself with a lawyer and took Westside to court. In the end I won and own Humanoid and catalogue - but that's why it doesn't sound like either STAKKER Humanoid / FSOL / ZEEBOX.

So I've written a fair bit of this from the perspective of imagining how these tracks would have sounded without the label's interference, and comparing the Peter Black tracks with the Brian Dougans (spoiler: they come up short).

-Cry Baby
-Sunshine & Brick
-The Deep
-Don't Stop



Edited by purlieu
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Art Science Technology - A.S.T.

In which Brian and Garry put out a 12" that, on the surface, is a world away from what you might think of as the FSOL sound, and yet contains almost all of the hallmarks of a FSOL release, including sounds they'd use in 1994.
Esus Flow
Esus Flow (Vast Galaxy Remix)




Also for the love of God somebody else say something in here. What's everyone's favourite FSOL track? Does everyone still hate the new Amorphous material? What's everyone's favourite haircut of Gaz's?

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I've been listening to Lifeforms a lot lately, such a great album to have on in the headphones while doing morning things

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@purlieuReally enjoying reading your blog so far.  You are a truly dedicated fan.

While we are on the topic of their earliest rave/bleep releases, has there ever been a megamix/playlist of their best tracks from this era?  I'm thinking something similar to Strictly Kev's Humanoid mix for Solid Steel, which I still play regularly.  I've been sort of relistening to a lot of their earliest stuff and find a lot very hit or miss.  Would be nice to hear a mix that cut through the fluff. 

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3 hours ago, Extralife said:

While we are on the topic of their earliest rave/bleep releases, has there ever been a megamix/playlist of their best tracks from this era?  I'm thinking something similar to Strictly Kev's Humanoid mix for Solid Steel, which I still play regularly.  I've been sort of relistening to a lot of their earliest stuff and find a lot very hit or miss.  Would be nice to hear a mix that cut through the fluff. 

Yeah, they were definitely experimenting with sounds and genres to see what worked best for them, some of the early releases I'm not very fond of, others are gold. The housey stuff and the hoover rave stuff has probably dated the worst. Some personal favourites...

Intelligent Communication - Drive, Flight
Yage - Quazi, Coda Coma
Mental Cube - Chile of the Bass Generation, Q
Humanoid - Stakker Humanoid (Coby '94 Remix)
Metropolis - Hyporeel
Indo Tribe - Owl, Shrink
Smart Systems - The Creator
Aircut - Let it Take You

Most of them are on the Earthbeat compilation, although strangely not the Intelligent Communication stuff. That I.C. EP got reissued on FSOLDigital not so long back, it's a gorgeous melodic detroit techno type affair.

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Copies of the Music for 3 Books CDs should be arriving for anyone who ordered them, got mine yesterday. It's a really tremendous record start to finish.


Meanwhile, back in 1991, two more Accelerator tracks, the introduction of Smart Systems, and easily the weirdest track they did prior to signing to Virgin:


FSOL / Smart Systems / Indo Tribe - Pulse Two
-FSOL - Stolen Documents (Jazz Dub)
-Smart Systems - Zip Code (Stress Ball Mix)
-FSOL - Innate (W-O-W Mix)
-Indo Tribe - I've Become What You Were (Insider Mix)


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Double post today, in which I have a look at the beautiful and sadly overlooked Principles of Motion EP, enjoy Brian and Garry making some big stupid dance music, and discover that there are actually three unique mixes of 'Calcium' which nobody had ever noticed before.


Intelligent Communication - Principles of Motion
-Open Loop
-Critical Ebb

Listen to the whole EP if you haven't, it's an absolute gem.

Yage / Indo Tribe / Smart Systems - Pulse Three
-Tingler (Four by Four Mix)
-Owl (I Can See You Mix)
-Bite the Bullet Baby (Jaques Reynoix Mix)
-Calcium (Elemental Mix)


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Smart boys from a smart system
Computer style with a hardcore rhythm
Trance machine generating pulse
Bringing sound creates the cut
Start again - techno overload
In a city of a future decode
It flips, folds, and interfolds
It's the future sound of London!


Not sure I could describe the track better than the rap above does.
Smart Systems - The Tingler Remix
-Tingler (Meltram Mix)
-Tingler (Mingler Mix)


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Posted (edited)
23 hours ago, purlieu said:

Double post today, in which I have a look at the beautiful and sadly overlooked Principles of Motion EP

This is the only major FSOL-related Jumpin' & Pumpin' I'm still missing. The Pulse set is fantastic.

Edited by dcom
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I had to sell off a huge stack of vinyl a few years ago, that was the only one from that era that I kept, couldn't bear to be without it. One of my all time FSOL faves.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Spent the last week or so working through every interview, article and story I could find to get all the facts down and hopefully be able to fill these with quotes from the band. Anyway, it's all back now.

Candese - You Took My Love
-You Took My Love (Earth Mix)
-You Took My Love (New Yorker Mix)
-You Took My Love (Instrumental)
-It's Takin' Me Over
-I Need Somebody

Aircut - Visual Attack (1991)
-Visual Attack (From the Home of the Humanoid)
-Let it Take You


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