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The Future Sound of London - A Space of Partial Illumination (e7.002) - FSOLDigital


purlieu
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59 minutes ago, Pirtek said:

This album is very good. Initially, I'm enjoying it more than Rituals (love that too though) but first impressions are I'm going to like this one a lot!! This is going to be on Heavy rotation. Can't wait to get the vinyl! Cd will have to wait until next month. Spent far too much money this month!!

like this one more as well. Informal Horizon is sick.

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So pleasantly surprised by this.  I liked Rituals, but it didn't have the staying power for me like some of their past releases (E5, E6, 6.5).

I had to replay this one as soon as it ended.  Loving the mix of styles that somehow seem to all come together here. 

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In terms of the FSOLDigital material, the main albums have been focused on the Environments series. The first three have recognisable '90s material which makes them a bit less essential for some people (although E2 is my second favourite behind Lifeforms), but you can't really go wrong with E4 onwards. They're as varied in style and mood as the '90s albums are.

Environments
The long lost 1994 album. Most of it will be familiar to anyone who's heard their 1994 ISDN transmissions, but if you want a new album that sounds like their classic era, you could do a lot worse.

Environments II
A mixture of archived material from 1993-1997 - both unaltered and remixed/enhanced in 2008 - plus some new tracks, it introduces a very new modern classical/organic side to their sound.

Environments 3
An extension of the above with a mood like a more mellow, ambient version of Dead Cities. Very abstract and minimal in places.

Environments 4
A few '90s sounds in there but about 95% new material, quite a live/organic sound, possibly their least overly electronic album. Gorgeous stuff, though.

Environment Five
The first 100% new album since Dead Cities, mixes proggy stuff with modern classical and bleepy electronic bits. Very melancholic, recorded shortly after the death of Brian's father.

Life in Moments
Free album that came with the Most Important Moments of a Life book, it features a few digital bonus tracks plus a bunch of new material from the E5 sessions with a more obviously electronic sound.

Environment 6.5
Actually makes sense in this order, this combines the proggier sounds of the previous two with an IDM slant rarely heard in their earlier material.

Environment Six
A very dark and intense record, even further into IDM territory, a series of 23 miniatures.

Archived : Environmental : Views
A weird 3LP release combining previously release and newly recorded material as three albums. The middle section, Environmental, is from the same sessions as the previous two, and has a very cold, stark sound; the CD version includes that full album plus new bits from the other two.

Music for 3 Books
An album split over three download EPs that came with three books, later issued as a standalone album. Continues the evolution of the sound with more textures and chuggy drum loops, and works very well as an album in the middle of the five year gap between the Environment 6 and 7 trilogies.

Rituals
First of the Environment Seven trilogy, and the first Environment to have a standalone name. More complex IDM mixed with chugging beats reminiscent of the ISDN era.

A Space of Partial Illumination
As per this thread.

Music from Calendars
A sort of 'best of' collection compiled from their yearly Calendar Albums (a track is sent to subscribers every month); the albums sometimes feature sketches, experiments, mixes and previews of forthcoming releases, so this compilation is worthwhile for non-hardcore fans. I helped select the tracklist.

 

There are also new longform singles of reworked '90s tracks, and a bunch of archive albums which have a lot of solid material (especially the later volumes), as well as alias releases and mixes under the FSOLDigital Presents... banner, but I'd say the above are the best way in.

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15 minutes ago, purlieu said:

[]

Wow, thank you so much! Just reading through this triggers my deep listening muscle. Too bad I have a weekend of work ahead of me, but this will sort me out next week. I actually found out that I already have the first four Environment albums, just never gave them much time, as I always come back to the old classics when in the mood for some FSOL.

The future is bright! 🙂

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