Archived : Environmental : Views (RSD release)

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Ross
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Re: Archived : Environmental : Views (RSD release)

Post by Ross » Tue May 30, 2017 11:59 pm

Just been chatting on the Lifeforms Repress group on Facebook, one guy said he wished they'd do a new album again. I mentioned 5, 6, 6.5 and Environmental but he was adamant that they 'contain recycled material'. I keep coming across this, and it really makes me wonder why they're continuing to put out new albums under the Environments moniker. It's been something mentioned quite a lot, but rarely properly discussed, but I really do think the choice of naming is underselling the material and doing them no favours. The original trilogy fair enough, but I think if 4 through to Environmental (and the remaining four to come!) had their own names, far more people would have paid attention to them. I can't get my head around it. It's not like there's even a stylistic similarity between the albums...

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Re: Archived : Environmental : Views (RSD release)

Post by Dennis » Wed May 31, 2017 3:37 pm

Ross wrote:Just been chatting on the Lifeforms Repress group on Facebook, one guy said he wished they'd do a new album again. I mentioned 5, 6, 6.5 and Environmental but he was adamant that they 'contain recycled material'.
Haha, it´s unbelievable, there still seem to be so many people out there adoring FSOL´s 90ies output who still don´t seem to be aware of the run of rather excellent new albums they did in the last 3 years alone. I mean I respect the artistic decision they made with calling the albums like that, but they would definitely gain more attention if they would make the albums more individual with their own title and concept like they did in the 90ies.

I think we can be lucky that at least the CD´s are still available in stores across europe (and US I guess?), but that total lack of any kind of PR is really astounding. It would so much help to reach a lot people I´m sure.
I mean there are at least half a dozend electronic music magazines here in Germany but I cannot remember having read only 1 review since the launch of fsoldigital and the archived- and Environments-Series. They appear so completely under the radar it´s simply baffling. The last GAS album got so much attention, reviews, interviews (one reviewer managed to hear Brexit, Trump and 'political issues' in the album :) ), I mean it´s not a bad album (I really like it somehow), but it´s just so onedimensional sounding compared to the multidimensionalism of 'Environmental - Views - etc' alone, but no one seems to notice.
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Ross
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Re: Archived : Environmental : Views (RSD release)

Post by Ross » Wed May 31, 2017 8:23 pm

The fact that they're doing everything themselves means they don't really have a press budget - they certainly don't run FSOLDigital like a 'proper' label - so they don't really send any promos out or anything, hence no reviews. It does seem a little odd. For some reason or other, Gaz's Facebook post announcing Environment Five (including a YouTube link to a track) got commented on and appeared back at the top of the news feed last November/December time, and someone commented on it saying something like "when is this coming out?". I mean, they'd released Six and 6.5 in the meantime! A:E:V, with the help of Record Store Day, does seem to have got them a bit more attention, but it does seem sad that overall the wider audience doesn't seem to have any awareness. The only reviews I've read are when the reviewer has already got the album and has taken it upon themselves to write one.

I think titling of albums is very important. Although most of us seem quite happy to take the albums as they come and simply enjoy them, in general people get a certain amount of pre-conditioning from a title which can affect how they approach the music. Even I get more excited about a forthcoming Environment than an Archive, despite the Archives series containing many of my favourite FSOL tracks. I've spoken to a couple of people, and come across quite a few more, who immediately think of the Environments albums as 'lesser' because of the vague/non-specific naming, and the supposed links to the first three volumes which were heavy on '90s material. In that sense, they immediately judge them harsher than they would if the albums were individually titled. Others just assume that the Environments material is a mix of old and new, which it clearly hasn't been for ages (I guarantee nobody would have even considered 4 contained old material if it had been named otherwise).

I certainly respect their artistic decisions, but when it's so difficult to work out why they're making them it does make it interesting to question them. I think some series work - the numbered EPs and self-titled album that Blackhill Transmitter put out all feel part of the same series. The Archives are obviously numbered for a reason (although I still maintain that they could have curated them carefully and put out some 'new' albums and nobody would have noticed! Vol 7 is a particularly good example). But I hear no stylistic or thematic link between the Environments, regardless of how often they say things like "picks up where the previous volume left off".

1 is dark and spacey kosmiche, 2 is icy classical-ambience, 3 is a subdued return to Dead Cities, 4 blends psych and new age with a tropical feel, 5 is proggy, epic and emotional. Only 6, 6.5 and Environmental really feel of one, mostly due to them being largely recorded at the same time, with a huge emphasis on analogue synths and a stark, foreboding feel. I'd say there's just as much - if not more - variety and progression in sound throughout those as you'll find between Accelerator, Ephidrina, Lifeforms, ISDN, Dead Cities and the aborted 1997 album. So quite why they're tied together as one series, to the obvious detriment of sales, is completely beyond me.

But then, when did FSOL ever do anything the 'normal' way? :D

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Re: Archived : Environmental : Views (RSD release)

Post by Pandemonium » Wed May 31, 2017 11:09 pm

I've talked to Brian about this situation more than once,
and his answer is always more or less the same :)

(they are aware of all these points and then some...)

"Hold tight

We know what we're doing

We have plans for FSOL

Watch the future ......"
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Re: Archived : Environmental : Views (RSD release)

Post by Dennis » Thu Jun 01, 2017 8:07 am

OMG, finally the proper new album, the Dead Cities follow up! :D
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Ross
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Re: Archived : Environmental : Views (RSD release)

Post by Ross » Thu Jun 01, 2017 8:38 am

Thing is, if they come out and go "here it is, the PROPER new album" then it immediately relegates the Environments to secondary status...

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Re: Archived : Environmental : Views (RSD release)

Post by Pandemonium » Thu Jun 01, 2017 9:52 am

Ross wrote:Thing is, if they come out and go "here it is, the PROPER new album" then it immediately relegates the Environments to secondary status...
I don't think this will happen...
They definitely won't announce 'proper' or 'follow up' - maybe the media will... we'll see...

I think they're building up to a legendary album with 0 loose tracks and 0 loose sports (it's arguable that some of the ENV albums already have this virtue, but most of them definitely do not), and that album will be released through a label that will market it properly, and that's about it. And hopefully, people will retro-actively find out about the dozens of albums released in the last 10 years and try them out :)
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Ross
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Re: Archived : Environmental : Views (RSD release)

Post by Ross » Sun Jun 04, 2017 4:45 pm

Pandemonium wrote:
Ross wrote:Thing is, if they come out and go "here it is, the PROPER new album" then it immediately relegates the Environments to secondary status...
I don't think this will happen...
They definitely won't announce 'proper' or 'follow up'
Oh no, of course, just that's how it'll be seen by a lot of people I suppose.
Going from my own perspective, I try and keep most of my albums on a similar level, of similar importance - occasionally I'll retroactively bin one or change it, but I hate to think one of my favourite albums will get overlooked. So that probably feeds into my perspective on this a lot.

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Re: Archived : Environmental : Views (RSD release)

Post by Blu Mar Ten » Mon Jun 05, 2017 4:19 pm

Could really do with AEV on spotify now tbh. If anyone has any influence, please make this happen.

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Ross
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Re: Archived : Environmental : Views (RSD release)

Post by Ross » Wed Jun 07, 2017 9:40 pm

I wouldn't hold your breath, sadly...

In other news, anyone after the 3LP, newly opened UK ambient shop Psilowave have it in stock.

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Re: Archived : Environmental : Views (RSD release)

Post by jenkins » Thu Jun 15, 2017 9:44 am

hi guys, i have another issue with fsoldigital - i have ordered all environments from the site over a week ago, status is again "processing" and graham does not respond as well... do you know any other ways to help sort it out? thx

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Re: Archived : Environmental : Views (RSD release)

Post by Nmesh » Thu Jun 15, 2017 6:40 pm

not related to A : E : V...

was in here responding to a message, thought I'd pop in and say hi! sorry for the inactivity, just been super busy. hope you guys are all doing well

dropping an album soon on the Orange Milk label, wait til you hear the HUMANOID remix haha
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Re: Archived : Environmental : Views (RSD release)

Post by seedy » Fri Jun 16, 2017 3:45 pm

NMESH!
great to see you pop in

hope fatherhood is going well :mrgreen:

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Re: Archived : Environmental : Views (RSD release)

Post by Nmesh » Fri Jun 16, 2017 9:37 pm

seedy wrote:NMESH!
great to see you pop in

hope fatherhood is going well :mrgreen:
indeed it is... Lucy is 2 now (and some change) - toddlers are mostly loads of fun i've learned, part-time nightmares however. :D

i shall do my best to pop in more, just got SO much going on
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Re: Archived : Environmental : Views (RSD release)

Post by seedy » Thu Jun 22, 2017 7:46 pm

man once you hit 3 the good times explode

good to be busy..... usually ;)

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