Album: ISDN
Artist: The Future Sound of London
Label: Virgin Records Ltd
Released: 1995
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 dialogue.

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.