Artist: The Future Sound of London
Label: Virgin Records Ltd
Summary: Eerie, like walking through an abandoned city.
There are three versions of ISDN, a limited edition version which
came out the same year as Lifeforms, and innocuous looking CD and
vinyl versions that followed a year later. I managed to get my hands
on the regular CD version.
Like its predecessor, ISDN's general vibe is still otherworldly and
it still oozes atmosphere, especially in its mellow, laid back cuts
such as Smokin' Japanese Babe and Eyes Pop - Skin Explodes - Everybody
Dead. There are plenty of haunting melodies, although not as many
as in Lifeforms, and there's The Future Sound of London's typical
plethora of homegrown synthetic sound effects and sampled film
The overall tone, however, is much darker. ISDN sounds scary,
desolate, old and decaying, putting it in stark contrast to the
beautiful, shimmering jungle fragments of Lifeforms. While you could
marvel at the previous album's ethereal beauty, ISDN is more like a
trip through an abandoned, deserted urban sprawl.
The atmospheric pieces are joined by a handful of loud, beat driven
tracks such as Slider and the 6/4 time The Far Out Son of Lung and
the Ramblings of a Madman. This makes ISDN bridge the gap between
Lifeforms and the group's next album, Dead Cities, rather nicely,
easing you into the group's less ambient later style.
Overall, ISDN isn't as beautiful as Lifeforms or as catchy as Dead
Cities, but it has enough substance to be of interest to people who
already enjoy both and still want more.