One of the first of the blissed-out rave acts to storm the charts, and also one of the longest lasting, the Future Sound of London deserved a good singles compilation, and fortunately they get one with the Virgin retrospective Teachings from the Electronic Brain. Their highest moments were virtually always their singles, and short-form tracks offer a much easier path to understanding the music of Brian Dougans and Garry Cobain than their occasionally bloated LPs. Teachings from the Electronic Brain neglects nothing of real value, beginning with their first chart hit ("Papua New Guinea") and grabbing the best tracks from their albums Accelerator ("Expander"), Lifeforms (the title track), the live-in-the-studio ISDN ("Far-Out Son of Lung and the Ramblings of a Madman," "Smokin' Japanese Babe"), and Dead Cities ("We Have Explosive"). Best of all, licensing requirements prevented the addition of material from 2002's half-baked The Isness.
Limited edition of 100 copies. Sleepy Town Manufacture AKA Alexander Ananev delivers his first long player for txt. featuring eleven tracks of emotionally driven ambience.
Like so much of Moby's earliest work, this isn't so much an album as a compilation via his original label, Instinct. Ambient influences in techno were all the rage in 1993 in terms of press and coverage (though jungle would swiftly eclipse both it and the progressive house genre), so it's no surprise Instinct wanted some of that action, right down to the says-it-all title. Motivations aside, Ambient is an enjoyable collection of experiments; if Aphex Twin's monumental Selected Ambient Works releases eclipse it in terms of both quality and sheer inventiveness, Moby's own efforts in the field are often quite pleasing. Those familiar with such later efforts as "God Moving Over the Face of the Waters" and "The Rain Falls and rhe Sky Shudders" can find their partial roots here, though the compositions are generally more formal and less-immediately noteworthy than what came next.
To speak about this extensive set of music allegorically, "Space 'n' Bass" is like an aquarium full of beautiful and varied tropical fish, each interesting in it's own way, whether breathtakingly colorful, exotically compelling or curiously fascinating. And by the very nature of the mediums, both the fish in the imaginary aquarium and the music in these CDs achieve relaxing and beautiful movement via endless repetition and effectively enjoyed for limited time periods only. This is not to say that "Space 'n' Bass" is boring; it boasts an impressive array of ambient electronica offering ample doses of acid jazz, jungle, world-beat and beat-box percussive underpinnings, a nice balance of analog, digital and sampled textures, a smattering of other instruments, infectious bass patterns and surprising aural constructions…
Discovery Records, just before its demise, did a great and wondrous thing by putting out four, count them, four Art of Noise CDs in one fell swoop. Art of Noise began in the mid-'80s and is now a touchstone to which all electronic music should be compared. While compiling their own collections, Discovery Records was able to take advantage of a excellent compendium ready for reissue. Ambient Collection had long been a jewel in many vinyl collections. These Art of Noise catalog remixes by Youth, bassist for Killing Joke, remain a classic of compositional ambient electronica. One of the themes to this ambient opus is explicitly stated in "Robinson Crusoe" and hinted at elsewhere. Art of Noise's Anne Dudley had mentioned just before the original 1990 release on a GLR Radio U.K. program that French composer Robert Mellin's main theme for "Robinson Crusoe" recalled here was one of her Top Ten favorite pop songs.