When I first heard "Paupau New Guinea" back in 1992 on the Cool World soundtrack, I still hadn't been exposed to much electronic music. I wasn't quite sure what to call it, but I knew that I liked it and I've been a follower of the group ever since. As one of the groups who have been on the scene for some time, Future Sound Of London has managed to be quite prolific to date. Their first true album came in the form of Accelerator back in the year mentioned above, and although it uses some dated sounds, it still holds up today as a great album. Their next release Lifeforms, is what really made them burst onto the scene. An epic 2CD offering, the disc helped to skewer the boundaries in the genre with it's total mix of sounds.
After another album under a different moniker (Amorphous Androgynous), yet another full-length (the excellent ISDN)and a boatload of singles in-between, we finally reach Dead Cities. Basically, if you've heard the group in their earlier incarnations and liked them, there's definitely something here for you. Like their other releases, this one is eclectic as all get out, but it flows much better than some of their earlier work. The first track on the disc starts out with the splashing of water, but soon drops a huge beat sampled straight from Run DMC. After another racing track and the brief interlude of "Her Face Forms In Summertime," the group rips into their noisiest song ever with, "We Have Explosive." The track is fueled with another beefed-up buzzing beat from Run DMC and tears along for nearly 7 minutes of time. One of their most solid tracks ever is the sixth track "My Kingdom." Sampling from the Blade Runner soundtrack, the track slides along with a reversed beat and is easy to see why they picked it as the first single from the album. While the first half or so of the album is darker and more attacking, the latter songs lighten up a bit and are thoroughly refreshing. Starting with "Antique Toy," FSOL manage to infuse the album with a bit smoother edge.
As a whole, Dead Cities is a very logical progression for the group and they've managed to create another interesting disc that really has a unique flavor to it. Instead of aiming for the dancefloor, the group instead sounds like they have again written the soundtrack to a strange futuristic movie that has yet to be made. The album is mixed together as usual, to provide another seamless excursion. Check it out.