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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Slight room for improvement...
Casual fans who are familiar with FSOL only from their nineties chart friendly hit "Papua New Guinea" may be well advised to steer clear of this Best Of, as that particular track remains atypical of the duo's overall back catalogue. However, this is certainly not to the detriment of the rest of the tunes on this album which presents the listener with an expansive...
Published on 19 Nov. 2006 by Hydra

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Nothing great, but to be expected.
FSOL are not a compilations band. All of their albums work as individual works, often with songs mixing between each other unbeknown to the listener. So when a best of was announced a few years ago, I immediately had my doubts.
On a song-by-song basis, Teachings From The Electronic Brain is a very good record: there certainly aren't any tracks that let the record...
Published on 21 April 2008 by Mr. R. Baker


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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Slight room for improvement..., 19 Nov. 2006
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Casual fans who are familiar with FSOL only from their nineties chart friendly hit "Papua New Guinea" may be well advised to steer clear of this Best Of, as that particular track remains atypical of the duo's overall back catalogue. However, this is certainly not to the detriment of the rest of the tunes on this album which presents the listener with an expansive electronic world extending its range well beyond the normal conventions of mainstream dance music.
From the succinct melancholy of "Everyone in the World is Doing Something Without Me" to the hard industrial beats of "We Have Explosive" via the Bladerunner sampling "My Kingdom", there is plenty of material here to entertain fans of the genre. The career spanning scope of the album (which even extends to include "The Lovers" from recent Amorphous Androgynous album "The Isness") also provides an ideal point of reference for anyone wishing to access an often innacessible band.
Their is room for improvement. Why not, for example, include a bonus disc of rare or unreleased tracks (which are out there), or maybe even some live recordings? On a further note, many FSOL tracks don't really lend themselves to being sliced into a singles compilation because they form such an intrinsic part of the albums from which they are originally taken (although, most on this compilation have received a makeover of sorts to make this less apparent); this is a minor niggle however - electronic music don't really come much better than this. Here's hoping for some new material in the very near future.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Influential , superb band , but this "Best Of" could be better, 17 Sept. 2006
By 
russell clarke "stipesdoppleganger" (halifax, west yorks) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
One of the fore runners of the dance/ ambient/ soundtrack cross over movement FSOL( Garry Cobain and Brian Dougans) have been plying their trade for fifteen years now so a retrospective ( or best of as this is sub-titled )is probably over due. This single CD is probably not as exhaustative as it should be with some glaring omissions( No sign of "Cerebral" with Curves Toni Holliday on vocals for instance) and some rather unnecessary 2006 edits when the originals are ,in most cases superior, but with music as (for the most part) magnificent as this it seems churlish to complain too much.

Predictably and with compete common sense the album includes and kicks off with the influential and superb 12" version of "Papua New Guinea", a track that has become almost revered but with very good reason. It's evocative and thrilling mix of exotic reverberations; gleaming techno surfaces and solid break beat exo-skeleton still sounds fresh and relevant today. "Cascade's is the glistening soundtrack to a potential city scape of aqueous parks and enormous shimmering sky scrapers. "We Have Explosive" is a more robust rib rattling collision of beats and breaks with treated vocals while "Lifeforms" is a more solipsistic trek toward a pastoral dappled horizon. "Far Out Son And The Ramblings Of A Madman" (catchy title guys) pulses and grates like the surging of some titanic cyber enhanced earth worm. Feel free to think up your own analogy's for that one though.

It's not perfect( in the sense that it could be better an amalgamation of their work) this album -as I've mentioned before -but it ushers the listener through the exciting sometimes challenging , sometimes perplexing transitions this group have taken throughout their recording life. From the heady organic material on "Accelerator" to the more painstakingly constructed and pristine sounds on "Life Forms" to the amorphous , dense , obscure sound edifices on "ISDN" , it's all contained here. A soundtrack to a rapidly changing world that through sheer creative brio has not just kept pace with that transformation but somehow leapt pass it ......out on it's own.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Nothing great, but to be expected., 21 April 2008
By 
Mr. R. Baker (Leeds, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
FSOL are not a compilations band. All of their albums work as individual works, often with songs mixing between each other unbeknown to the listener. So when a best of was announced a few years ago, I immediately had my doubts.
On a song-by-song basis, Teachings From The Electronic Brain is a very good record: there certainly aren't any tracks that let the record down. The actual track sequencing, however, does. The least you could expect from the band would be to remove the songs from the atmospheric intros/outros featured on the albums, but many fade in/out with these samples, giving a thoroughly disjointed feel to the record: something the band always tried to move against. Furthermore, the actual content is incredibly weighted towards Dead Cities (bizarrely the album the band fell out of love with, causing their move towards psychedelic rock this decade). While Dead Cities is a great record, it leaves their other four 1990s records represented by a few radio edits, meaning a new listener will come away not very familiar with those albums, yet already owning over half of Dead Cities.
As I say, each song on Teachings is excellent, but it acts as a largely useless introduction to the band, considering the price of their studio albums and Archive series, and with no exclusive material contained, it's of little use to existing fans either.
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3.0 out of 5 stars FSOL best of?, 8 May 2008
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C. SMOUT "Chris Smout" (London UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
As a long time fan of FSOL I was expecting a good selection of their tracks mixed together with the feel of one of their ISDN shows. However, on listening, the album is merely a collection of standalone tracks representing some of the more eclectic parts of their career. As such, the album does not flow quite so well as it should, but still provides some of the best tracks from ISDN, Lifeforms and Dead Cities in this collection, making it a very accessible opening into the world of FSOL. However, nothing new is presented in this best of, which is disappointing to a long time listener, but for five quid, you could certainly do a lot worse.
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4.0 out of 5 stars FSOL... the almost Best of, 13 Sept. 2010
By 
J. Fielder "the_jazzdevil" (on the sofa) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Generally a good intro to FSOL, but weighted heavily in favour of the (admittedly good) Dead Cities album, while only managing to include 2 tracks from the 2-disc Lifeforms long player and one from ISDN... so it feels a little biased.

Broad brush, if you know nothing of FSOL it works well as a standalone album (though the ambient slant taken after the more dance friendly Accelerator debut may surprise some).

Perhaps better called 'favourite bits from Dead Cities and a couple of other tracks'.
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Future sounds of music...., 14 Sept. 2006
Its not often a "dance" band gets to put out a best of album but FSOL have more than enough material to be able to pull this off with a bit of style. Most of the tracks have been reworked here, not straying to much from their original templates but on this compilation ending up assuperior versions. Opening with the epic Papau New Guinea which samples Lisa Gerrards soaring vocals you know your going to be in for a treat, and you probably realise you've heard this song 101 times without realising who made it.
Another epic piece of music is Lifeforms, again in a much superior form to its lp counterpart with added vocal acrobatics courtesy of Cocteau Twins vocalist Elizabeth Fraser. You really have to listen to this; it's one of the most organic yet unearthly pieces of music i've had the good fortune to hear. I could wax lyrical about this album for hours over the enhancements made to the original pieces but im not going too. Just go and buy it. This is what best of albums should be like!!!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everybody online... looking good, 2 Jun. 2010
A really good album: for the most part quite chilled but in places unsettling and, in the case of We Have Explosive, almost industrial. FSOL have a wide range, and are definitely more than just background music. There is quite a large overlap with Dead Cities, though: 1/3 of the tracks are from Dead Cities, which may be worth bearing in mind.
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3 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars DISAPPOINTING, 9 Oct. 2006
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I had high expectations for this album but I've been sadly let down. The first and last songs are true classics and so gives you an unrealistic feeling of an overall good album, starts well and ends well but with an obvious empty void in the middle.
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