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Environment Five

4.5 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (22 Sept. 2014)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Fsol Digital
  • ASIN: B00MV2N4EO
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 52,693 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
  • Sample this album Artist (Sample)
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Product Description

Following on from the themes of the first 4 Environments albums, Five explores the space / time / dimension that exists when we die. The moment of departure. It includes appearances from Daniel Pemberton (BAFTA nominated / Ivor Novello winning composer), Raven Bush (Syd Arthur) and Riz Maslen (Neotropic). The Environment series originally began as an archive of previously unreleased recordings but Environment Five features thirteen all new songs recorded in the first half of 2014.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Over the course of the first four Environments releases, Dougans and Cobain gradually tipped the balance of old and new material in the favour of the latter, so perhaps it comes as no surprise that for the fifth volume, the band have recorded an album of entirely new material. Expanding on the wealth of new ideas and sounds found on the previous volume, Environment Five is the strongest release in the series to date.

The album, much like Environments 4, sees the band redefining their sound from ambient electronica to a more organic blend of acoustic instrumentation, psychedelia and classical-infused ambience; this time, however, the scale of the album is much more epic. Fittingly titled opener 'Point of Departure' builds up, almost post-rock like, from subtle beginnings to a rousing mix of violin, electric guitar textures and clattering drums, finished off with the classic FSOL staple of wordless female vocals. At the other end of the album, 'Moments of Isolation' is equally as impressive, based around a haunting piano motif, and reprising the violin melody from the opening track. Both pieces are among the best the group have ever written, and leave a lasting impression long after the album has finished.

Between these we find a typically diverse range of pieces, alternating between the sombre classical ambience found throughout the Environments series (with Neotropic's Riz Maslen on vocals and beautiful piano work from Dan Pemberton) and a range of new directions for the group.
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Comment 11 of 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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This is a very good release like All the FSOL albums. I love the prominence of the saxophone on many of the pieces on this album and it seems to have more live instrumentation on this album than the other environment albums. It actually sounds slightly more toward the other music they produce under the name "The Amorphous Androgynous" in many places. They write consistently good music and there is no one quite like them. Superb as always.
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Welcome back lads.

You know you've hit a winner when the CD / download (delete as applicable depending on which side of a certain age you are) is repeated 3 times because you want to check you actually heard what you did.

I hate to say it but I found Environments 2 and 3 way too cold and clinical. 4 I've missed out on and 1 is a squelching desert wolf version of Lifeforms (that's good btw).

I have played this through top to tail a dozen times in half as many days. It pulls you in the way ISDN did, but with more live instrumentation such as guitar, trumpet, sax that makes you sit up and listen. These guys made their own equipment because they weren't satisfied with sounding like everyone else: it shows. Production is crisp, rich and engaging.

Not going to run through this track by track because if you like anything to do with electronic music, I don't need to. It's like telling your mate who has a penchant for 60's and 70's bands why he should give 60 mins of his life to an ebbing and flowing mood. Cannot be done but if that's your bag you cannot understand why that cannot be done.

Utterly magnificent and has taken me back to the mid 90's. Thank you gentlemen.
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A very moving album by fsol.....melancholy, lonely but full of warmth, music to listen to on your own , whilst out walking in the autumn sun......a thought- provoking and original piece of audio magic! In a way, this is like a electronic-instrumental version of lifeforms in that it evokes weird and wonderful soundscapes......real music that doesn't conform to the mould!
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I'll get straight to the point here, if you love 90's FSOL then do not hesitate in buying this album. An absolute gem and a worthy choice as album of the year IMO.

The lads also gave away a free 3 track EP if you pre-ordered from their website, hunt those down as again they are amazing.
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A wonderful surprise - I'd been a big fan of FSOL in their heyday, rating Dead Cities as their peak. The archive series was interesting but it seemed that they had perhaps settled for remixing and rehashing material from their most creative period rather than doing anything new. I was wrong - Environment Five, confusingly released as part of a remix/archive series is competely original and exceptionally good. It combines the slightly unsettling atmosphere of the central section of Dead Cities, the funkiness of ISDN and the ambience of Lifeforms. It's a competely satisfying album, that I'd rate on a par with Lifeforms. It's a tribute to the originality of their sound that this sounds entirely consistent with their earlier output and is instantly recognisable as FSOL - but it still sounds thoroughly contemporary. Unhesitatingly recommended!
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