Future Sound Of London – Environments LP – Jumpin’ & Pumpin’

fsolIt’s hard to say exactly what’s going on here – Future Sound Of London has a long history as innovators in electronic music, sampling, and ambient composition; Jumpin’ & Pumpin’ has been around since the late 80s, so presumably both have a lot of history to draw upon. This new LP release of Environments seems to be part of a nostalgic dig through some of their archives; it’s part of an already five installment series in  that’s been released in conjunction with FSOL Digital over the past few years (in staggered physical & digital offerings), so at least it is apparently an authorized outlet.

Authorization by the the duo might be a strange thing to mention, but it’s sometimes hard to say with such a high-profile act who still manages to often present their recordings in an obscured way – they’ve released live sets, been bootlegged, self-released, and worked together with a variety of labels ranging from Jumpin’ & Pumpin’ to Virgin, as well as in under at least a dozen known aliases.

But regarding the music: this album plays out as a continuous, stream-of-consciousness excursion. It’s very sample-based and dreamlike, sounding like an alternate take on the sessions that made up their Lifeforms double-album and their Amorphous Androgynous mid-90s period, a period of recordings between their almost tropical, futuristic take on ambient house in Accelerator and the darker industrial tones of Dead Cities. Listening now, 20 years on, it’s an illuminating context for the roots of some of today’s impressionist ambient and even plunderphonic synth music trends.

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