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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This is Dark...
I would give this 4.5 stars. This album is probably the darkest and most introspective album I have, and the textures - and atmospheres - it creates are mind-blowing. I prefer the upbeat tracks like "Dead Cities" and the big beats of trip-hop "Yage" and "My Kingdom", I guess because the more ambient ones are to me slightly counter-active in...
Published on 27 Jun. 2001 by D. NIXON

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16 of 32 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A dead album.
I went through a phase a while ago of wanting to explore ambient music and was keen to look out for more modern artists such as Biosphere, fearful of buying something that is dated regardless of whether it was considered a classic at the time. 'Lifeforms' was one of several I bought after seeing it on many people's lists of best ambient albums ever, including those of...
Published on 20 Feb. 2006 by RM


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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This is Dark..., 27 Jun. 2001
By 
D. NIXON "nixey" (Tokyo) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Dead Cities (Audio CD)
I would give this 4.5 stars. This album is probably the darkest and most introspective album I have, and the textures - and atmospheres - it creates are mind-blowing. I prefer the upbeat tracks like "Dead Cities" and the big beats of trip-hop "Yage" and "My Kingdom", I guess because the more ambient ones are to me slightly counter-active in that they are too dark to be relaxing like most ambient dance music. This album is really scary to fall asleep to (esp. track 5) and at times is pretty melancholic but sans depressing which is good. Dead Cities is definately an album as opposed to a collection of tracks, since (not meaning to sound pretentious!) the continuous and complementary moods it creates as an LP are as important as the music in any given track.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A journey you will never forget, 10 Feb. 2005
This review is from: Dead Cities (Audio CD)
Really, how in the world do you describe a piece of music like this?
it is tricky, as the Future sound of London manage to create a musical adventure quite unlike anything else, and though made in 1996 it is timeless stuff, that production wise if you told me it had been created 50 years in the future, I'd believe you.
genre wise, it's kind of difficult to place anywhere- with the sound being more of a continuous journey through various soundscapes,both subtle and gentle and then angry, beat riddled and aggressive.
I'm really not too sure about how the tracklist works out, I am thinking that maybe the whole album is set out more like a symphony, and each well 'part of a track' is like a new movement (There are sometimes upto three tracks inside a track...)- confusing? well yes, I was tearing my hair out trying to figure it all out!
Dead cities, as it seems to be, is a journey through a cold desolate world perhaps set in the future or maybe now, it expresses the attitudes and feelings of people and situations that may be very well be apart of everyday life in a 'dead city' it melodically conjures up anything and everything and creates a fairly dark and depressing mood, But it is friendly and uplifting in places, perhaps showing the ray of hope in a world that doesn't seem to have any left...
musically you will hear quite a variety of stuff here, from the sounds of children playing in a park right over to sad, wailing gothic choirs, from lush saxophone sounds to exotic Greek instruments, as I said before, there are gentle and friendly moments in this album, but mostly it's often chilling and sinister, with a lot of the sounds being quite horrifying, (the sound of a child whispering "Make me believe I'm not going to die..." in a hushed demonic tone is frightful!) couple all these innumerable samples with synths, live instruments and beats, a powerful feel is created.
The emotions portrayed throughout the album range from relentless evil in tracks like "Herd killing" "We have explosive" and "Dead cities" to deep, depressing sad moments "Everybody in the world is doing something without me" and "Vit drowning" right over to the uplifting and beautifully moving "Her face forms in summertime" "Max" and "My kingdom"
The future sound of London have truly created an aural world in this album, you feel like you are there, sometimes because of the smashed up city sounds that surround you or just the melodies that float around and let you imagine the dark places...
I hope this review hasn't been too, well "from the imagination" in it's description, But it is a release that truly deserves a review for it's visualisation...
A remarkable and unforgettable journey that will leave you breathless.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Each time still different to the last, 22 Jan. 2007
By 
This review is from: Dead Cities (Audio CD)
It took me a long time to begin to appreciate this album. When I first heard it I was really disappointed because it is quite unlike "Lifeforms" which I love. But then one day i totally fell in love with one of the ambient tracks toward the end of the disk. gradually over the following years the other tracks followed suit. It is another album of theirs which in that unique and amazing way gets better every time you hear it. Each time I hear sounds differently than the last. Like an experiment in my own perception. I dont think the experiment will ever end.

and by the way, at the end of track 2 the child(?) whispering also quietly says "something I cant understand".
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FSOL are not dead, 8 Jan. 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Dead Cities (Audio CD)
It is nearly two years since I first heard this recording and it continues to have regular outings on my stereo.
For my tastes it stands alone as the best release from Future Sound of London. It manages to incorpate everything I want to hear from an ambient/electronic album - from the peaceful laid back tones of My Kingdom to the beats of We Have Explosive. And look out for a special added moment right at the end of cd just when you thought it was all over.
If you have heard and enjoyed FSOL before - Do not miss this one - its a corker.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly a lost masterpiece, 28 Feb. 2009
By 
G. E. Marthews (Nanjing, China) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Dead Cities (Audio CD)
This is their zenith of achievement, where they got the balance just right - there are so many moments of astonishing beauty, beats cubed and for electronica it is 5 stars outright.

Fsol spent a long time flattering to deceive. Apparently unwilling to be commercial they had the tendency to produce sound effect albums with too little rhythm. Yet here they are doing it better than any. Songs like Quagmire, My Kingdom and Yage are just wonderful. All are good tho I understand the criticism of a slow start - the impatient are likely to jump to a negative conclusion too quickly.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars utterly uttery superb, 6 years old, still the future sound, 17 Feb. 2002
By 
This review is from: Dead Cities (Audio CD)
i am listening to this cd right now as i write this review. and i will be when you read this. its a testiment to human achievement pure and simple. that after 6 years this album has still not aged in the slightest and is so rich and varied is incredible.
this album is an ambitious ride into dark ambient music. purposful and sometimes up-beat, it has been the inspiration in works for orbital as well as global communications '76. 14'. also featuring a sample of lawrence fishburn in the ace 'dead cities' track!
funky, moving, evil, morose, compeling, uplifting, sad.....an absolute masterpiece
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most wonderfully unique CD ever created..., 12 April 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Dead Cities (Audio CD)
Dead Cities is a magical CD, an album that ceases to be music and instead metamorphosizes itself into what you find it to be. I wish I could explain what makes this CD so wonderful, and I wish that the other reviews were able to do it as well but alas, this is a CD that refuses to take credit from anyone but the person listening. The reason why this CD cannot be explained is because it is a human odyssey and each of the tracks on this CD leaves a different mark for each single listener, every time it is listened to. The only help that any review could offer is this - if you like introspective and personal music or if you are a fan of ambient music, this CD is for you.
There are only five CD's I could not live without, and this CD is one of them. Every time I listen to this CD and its never-ending textures I love it more, and find myself believing that I wouldn't be the same without it... this is simply one of the greatest musical triumphs of the whole 20th century - take the challenge and see if you agree!
As well, pick up Lifeforms - on a quiet and relaxing night, listening to Lifeforms and Dead Cities back to back makes for a night that becomes just as interesting as anything you could have done outside of home...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Album of the nineties?, 21 Feb. 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Dead Cities (Audio CD)
If not the best album of the past decade, this is certainly the most underrated one. I've never heard another album with such breathtaking scope and variety that still manages to maintain a running theme throughout. "Dead Cities" could be the soundtrack to Bladerunner or Terminator 2, but the images in those visually stunning films would still not do the music justice.
The whole is greater than the sum of it's parts, however "Her Face Forms in Summertime", "My Kingdom", "Glass" and "Vit Drowning/Through your Gills I Breathe" in particular are all still mind-numbingly good standalone tracks.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars They are STILL the future sound of London., 13 May 2004
By 
M. J. Axtell "Jimmy Luxury" (Exeter) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Dead Cities (Audio CD)
This album is a testament to advanced creative thinking. It always was ahead of its time, and i think it still is almost 8 years on. Nothing else exists that sounds anything like this.
Having been an FSOL fan for much of my life, i have never been compelled to write anything about them. Til now, mainly because of the fact that they are still going strong and their music is just as lush and atmospheric as it was a decade ago.
Where to begin. Dead Cities is the only record i have ever sold, probably due to the fact that it was seriously creepy, disjointed and a little bit worrying, especially when accompanied by the artwork, which was a little too apocalyptic for my tastes when i was 15 years old and still listening to Apollo 440.
What a pleasant surprise it was to reaquire this record 6 years on since parting company. FSOL don't make music like most people do. Their live show is a testament to that. It can only be described as a living, breathing soundscape (anybody with the Lifeforms EP will recognise this), which changes frequently and evokes all kinds of emotions, from fear to joy. The attention to detail is quite staggering, the only other artist that springs to mind with such vision is Amon Tobin.
Daker techno moments surface with Herd Killing and We Have Explosive, which are probably the most accessible tracks on the record. Lesser known gems include Vit Drowning and Yage, a stunningly beautiful section of four tracks which include Everyone in the World..., My Kingdom, Max and Antique Toy. This particular section of the album is the backbone of it, where the rest of it fleshes it out perfectly and provides cohesion.
The closer is a gem. Just when you think all is said and done, FSOL have one last thing on their mind. The heavy metal thrash at the end is very interesting. It would seem almost like a therapy session for the group by trying to get something off of their chests and the signalling of an end of a musical chapter of the band. As we all know, their consecutive albums after this was their Amorphous Androgynous outings which were largely inspired by the instrumental experimentation that went on at this time in the band.
But why 4 stars and not 5? If anybody has listened to much FSOL, this album can only achieve 4 stars with respect to FSOL's standards. Lifeforms (EP and Album), Accelerator and The Isness have a charm about them. Where these albums are about a celebration of life (amongst other things), this album is about paranoia and the inevitability of death and despair.
The apocalyptic feel of this album is well integrated into the music and artwork, along with their short film Teachings from the Electronic Brain, and it must be said that it does have its lighter moments in the form of My Kingdom, Antique Toy and Yage (I can't get it out of my head), so it's not all doom and gloom.
Maybe get the others before this one if you are new to FSOL. It is not a true reflection on the band as a whole, it serves more to demonstrate that "yes, we can go there if we want to" kind of mentality.
But then again, if you like good electronic music, especially those who like Mr Tobin's work, Global Communication and to a lesser extent Brian Eno's ambient outings, you shouldn't be disappointed with this. A timeless classic. Just wish i never sold it in the first place.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Soundscape city, 9 Nov. 2010
This review is from: Dead Cities (Audio CD)
The sort of music to listen to when you want to watch a film but don't want to WATCH a film. A soundscape of musical atrophy. only for the headstrong.
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Dead Cities
Dead Cities by Future Sound of London (Audio CD - 1996)
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