Review

The Future Sound of London

Papua New Guinea

Jumpin' & Pumpin' • 1992

If you’re wondering where acts like Bicep or Overmono find inspiration for their stadium techno these days, a glance at the rave history books might help. By the late Eighties and early Nineties, the British Isles were already home to a music that was giving the dancers in the warehouses and fields in the British countryside a dose of melodic psychedelic to excess. It was called hardcore, and The Future Sound Of London – what a prophetic name – released »Papua New Guinea« in 1991, a milestone in the genre. Where Nightmares On Max had evoked a threatening atmosphere with »Aftermath« the year before, Brian Dougans and Garry Cobain concentrated on creating an uplifting, positive, spiritual side to the music. In the original, airy, organic breaks and a gradually rising and falling bass line meet trancey pads and a yearning ethno vocal that floats majestically through the soundscape. Andrew Weatherall contented himself with less pomp, relying on a discreet linear rhythm in his remix. 808 State’s Graham Massey took it upon himself to toot over the breaks with the combo’s trademark saxophone. The most intense of the eight versions on this re-release is the »Dumb Child Of Q Mix«, which spends four and a half minutes building up to a diminuendo that never comes. Maybe everything was really better in the past.