Future Sound of London

 

The Future Sound of London (aka FSOL) is a British electronic music duo consisting of Garry Cobain (aka as Gaz Cobain) and Brian Dougans. Although often labelled as ambient their work covers many areas of electronic music, such as ambient, techno, house music, trip-hop and ambient dub. In addition to music composition, their interests have covered a number of areas including film and video, 2D and 3D computer graphics, animation in making almost all their own videos for their singles, radio broadcasting and creating their own electronic devices for sound making. They have released works under numerous aliases.

Garry Cobain and Brian Dougans met in the mid-1980s while studying electronics at university in Manchester, England. Dougans had already been making electronic music for some time, working between Glasgow and Manchester, when the pair first began working together in various local clubs. In 1988, Dougans embarked on a project for the Stakker graphics company. The result was "Stakker Humanoid," a single that went on to reach number 17 in the UK charts, becoming the first credible UK acid house tune to cross over into the mainstream. Cobain contributed to the accompanying album. A video was also produced.

In the following three years the pair produced music under a variety of aliases, releasing a plethora of singles and EPs, including the successful tracks "Q" and "Metropolis", some of which would end up on the duo's first compilation album "Earthbeat" in 1992.

In 1991 they released their first album, Accelerator, which was followed by their single "Papua New Guinea". The track has made several British "Best songs ever" polls and track specific accolades. In 1992, Virgin Records were looking for electronic bands and, after "Papua New Guinea"'s chart success, quickly signed them, giving them free rein to experiment, with a reported advance payment of £75,000. With this the duo invested in a collection of Akai S1000 samplers and other equipment. They began to play with more ambient music, resulting in the "Tales of Ephidrina" album of 1993, the first album to be released under the Amorphous Androgynous alias.

In 1993 they had a commercial succes with the track "Cascade", that was 30 minutes long divided in 6 parts. This track was followed by the albums Lifeforms and ISDN in 1994. And they produced and released a lot more after these albums.