FSOL's debut is firmly rooted in the dancefloor of the turn of the 1990s. There's some of that thumping and pumping which dates techno from this era, but not too much. Plenty of colourful samples, tweets, blips and twinkles add the exotic character which they would later perfect in their electronic tours-de force "Lifeforms" and "Dead Cities". The crisp production, entwining loops and samples are approachable, supported throughout with firm beats.
"Papua New Guinea" is one of the most celebrated dance tracks of the period. This album version includes a frustratingly disjointed introduction. Although when it gets going, its euphoric shimmering, angelic vocal sample and reverberating pings are almost worth the entire album. A standout, but also worthy of note are "While Others Cry" for its easy-going, handwavy dance melancholy, and the spookily dissonant "It's Not My Problem".
They seem to agree that "Papua New Guinea" is a fine track, as they include an extra disc with umpteen remixes of it for kitchen sink and nose flute. This is a chance for various DJs to exercise their production muscles, or in some cases just write a whole new track and shoehorn bits of "Papua New Guinea" into it. Highlights include the show-orchestra "Blue States", the Nintendo-flavoured "Mellow Magic", and a colourfully bizarre "Simian Mix". Interesting but by no means essential.
April 1, 2005