The astonishing thing about The Future Sound of London is how few people have heard of them. Despite being one of the most important and influential dance acts of the 1990s, you would be forgiven for only having the vaguest memory of Papua New Guinea.
You can’t really go without mentioning their exceptional breakthrough single Papua New Guinea (1992). Their mid-nineties singles Cascade, Lifeforms, My Kingdom and We Have Explosive are undeniable masterpieces.
Where to start
The compilation Teachings from the Electronic Brain (2006) gives you a very good introduction to FSOL’s main career, although the tracks are all single edits, so may be a little on the short side. See if you can find the bonus disc, which will introduce you to the longer versions.
What to buy
Go with Lifeforms (1994) next, and then Dead Cities (1996), and you’ll have a very good idea of what you’re listening to. Then jump to 2001 for the surprisingly good Papua New Guinea Translations.
Don’t bother with
Much of the material released from 2002 onwards under the Amorphous Androgynous pseudonym – it has its moments, but is unfortunately not up to their earlier standards. Accelerator (1992) and ISDN (1994) are both interesting learning curves, but a little disappointing.
The From the Archives collections (2007 onwards) yield a lot of surprises, and despite what I said above, The Mello Hippo Disco Show (2002) is quite excellent.