The Future Sound of London – Ramblings of a Madman Vol. 2

A mere five months after the first Ramblings of a Madman zine, the second appeared. As with the first, bundles were made available, with the zine and digital EP available to buy alongside one-of-a-kind art prints and hoodies. This time I opted out of the print option – I really don’t have the wall space – although they appeal to all be in the same style as the first.

The book is stylistically in line with the first: 96 pages of visual collages and stories. Among new and familiar band shots, landscape photos, press cuttings, studio photographs, EMS and Digitana gear and album art are once again some intriguing teasers, including:

  • A reference to 1973 Electronics Group, the mysterious artist listed on the EBS7 tracklist.
  • A mailing list postcard from a 1990s CD single.
  • A postcard to “Brian Doggin” from the late ’80s, featuring B’s address at the time (which turns out to be a two minute walk from where I lived in Manchester).
  • Abbey Road master CDs from early 2002, including one for Galaxial Pharmaceutical – giving an idea of just how late the title was changed to The Isness – with a catalogue number of ARTFULCD45, and one for, bizarrely, the piano section of ‘Theram‘.
  • Julian Opie’s ‘Gary Popstar‘ painting (one version of which, I just discovered, is in the Tate, which amuses me).
  • The credits section erroneously lists it was Vol. 1.

Story-wise, there are a generous 14 this time.

It Sparkles and Everything. A hilarious story about the trials and tribulations involved in trying to get the band’s state of the 1990s videos made, including an explanation of why the ‘My Kingdom‘ dinosaurs look so crap, and a return of “Wide angle – ANAL”.

I Not Do This – I Cannot Swim. From the old EBV site, a story about Vit and the ‘Far-out Son of Lung‘ video.

John Peel – The Layers of the ISDN Onion. Gaz on his nervousness talking to John Peel before and after the 1997 Peel Session.

Ever So Hell. Gaz gets angry about a printing site advertising illegal FSOL t-shirts on Facebook, and gets even angrier when the company mispronounce FSOL.

Manchester. Brian and Gaz try to film some footage from the early days of the Stone Roses. Misses the “shit band, anyway,” end from the EBV site version.

Neighbours. The wonderfully surreal story from the Dead Cities book.

Dead Skin Cells. And another!

Beach Shot. And a third. This brief story also appeared on the EBV site.

Tales of Ephidrina. EBV and official store description of Tales of Ephidrina.

Lifeforms. EBV site description of Lifeforms as an album without hits.

Slight of Hand. 2001 official store description of the Oil 12″ EP and foundation of the 1997 incarnation of the EBV label.

Teachings from the Electronic Brain. Brief description of the film from the EBV site.

Transmissions. The longer story from the white ISDN booklet.

Lifeforms Glossary / Lifeforms Titles. Descriptions of several track titles, originally seen on the EBV and 2001 official store websites.

The EP is much like the first, with six tracks of no given origin. They are likely all relatively recent, or at least radical reworkings of ’90s pieces, as the mixture of glitchy IDM and textural ambient is present throughout. The EP appears in full on Music for 3 Books.

Tracklist
Digital download
1. Magnify Within the Thought
2. Replace I With You
3. Viewed from Trains
4. External Limits
5. To Become Silent
6. Skylines

Credits
All tracks written by Dougans/Cobain.
Images created by FSOL, Yage, Buggy G Riphead, Lysa Bartlett, Diane Harris, Peter Yorke, Alan Dougans.
Book published by EBV 2018.

Purchase from FSOLDigital.

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