Due to its 'side-project' nature, and suggestions of it being leftovers from 1994's FSOL album "Lifeforms", "Tales of Ephidrina" often gets left out of discussions and lists regarding FSOL and early '90s ambient techno. Which isn't to say that it's underrated - you'll be pushed to find a negative review of this little album, and quite fairly so.
Sitting comfortably between Dougans and Cobain's earlier techno-led, four-to-the-floor album "Accelerator", and the aforementioned sprawling ambient magnum opus "Lifeforms", "Tales of Ephidrina" combines pulsing kick drums and snappy hi-hats with field recordings, synth textures and other sonic debris that the FSOL name eventually became synonymous with. Opener Liquid Insects features one of the duo's trademark two minute 'environments' opening the album, before launching, full-throttle, into a pounding techno number that gives the dance music leaders of their day a run for their money. Similar energy is found in the album's near-title track, Ephidrena, and the bleep house of Auto Pimp. Elsewhere, things calm down, with slower breaks and shuffling beats driving Fat Cat and In Mind forward at a more thoughtful pace. Only on Mountain Goat, however, do we witness the band's full ambient potential, with its layers of acoustic guitar, strings and gurgling sounds (which sound suspiciously like something from Tangerine Dream's "Phaedra" album), suggesting the path the band would take in the future.
Like its intended follow-up (1994's scrapped Amorphous Androgynous album, "Environments", which turned up under the FSOL guise in 2007), "Tales of Ephidrina" is a bite-sized album, running little longer than 45 minutes, but one which deserves more recognition as an example of some of the best rhythmic music to come out of the '90s ambient boom.