Amorphous Androgynous ‎– The Isness

CD, Album, Jewel Case

Tracklist Hide Credits

1 The Lovers
Guitar – Stinky Rowe*Percussion – Herb MoonsStrings – Future Sonic Orchestra Limited*Tambura [Tamboura], Tambora – The MajorVocals [Femal Ethereal] – Linda LewisWritten-By – Dougans*, Cobain*
2 The Isness
Sitar – Baluji ShrivastavStrings – The Cabbage OrchestraWritten-By – Dougans*, Cobain*
3 The Mello Hippo Disco Show
Arranged By [Brass] – Dominic GloverCello – Christene Jackson*, Helena Binney, Jane FentonComposed By [Reprise Orchestration], Orchestrated By [Reprise Orchestration] – Mike Mc Evoy*Effects [Reprise Synth] – Daniel PembertonEngineer – Stix (4)Engineer [Initial Recordings] – YageFlute – Chris Margary*Harp – Thelma OwenHorn – Philip EastopMellotron, Organ [Farfisa], Keyboards – Mikey Rowe*Oboe, English Horn [Cor Anglais] – Kate St. JohnOrchestra [Reprise Orchestration] – The Mike Mc Evoy Orchestra*Trombone – Mark EadesTrumpet, Trombone – Fayaz Virji*Violin – Joanna Archard*, Mark Mc Evoy*, Morven Bryce, Sarah TilleyVocals [Additional La-las] – The Electric Gospel ChoirVoice [End Female Voice] – Anjali SagaWritten-By – Dougans*, Cobain*, Rowe*
4 Goodbye Sky (Reprise)
Electric Piano [Rhodes] – Richie Thomas*Vocals – Gaz Cobain*Vocals [Female Vocal] – Joss (4)Written-By – Dougans*, Cobain*, Thomas*
5 Elysian Feels
Electric Guitar – Gary LucasStrings – Future Sonic Orchestra Limited*Strings [Outro] – Max RichterViolin – Mike Mc Evoy*Written-By – Curtis*, Dougans*, Allen*, Curtis*, Malherbe*, Cobain*, Bromley*, Smyth*, Howlett*, Moerlen*, Thomas*, Hillage*, Blake*
6 Go Tell It To The Trees Egghead
Accordion [Electric], Guitar [Steel], Electric Guitar – Gary LucasFlute – Chris Margary*Glockenspiel – Albert Ross JuniorHarmonica – Sam PickinsSitar, Tabla – Baluji ShrivastavTrumpet, Strings, Double Bass – Max RichterWritten-By – Dougans*, Cobain*
7 Divinity
Bass – Randy Hope-TaylorBrass – Chris Margary*, Fayaz Virgi*, Kevin Robinson (4)Cello – Sue MonksChoir [Gospel Choir] – Nu ColoursElectric Guitar – Gary LucasEngineer [Voice And 12 String Recordings] – Stix (4)Flugelhorn – Phillip BainbridgeGuitar [Electric] – Stinky Rowe*Orchestrated By – Max RichterOrgan [Hammond], Choir [8 Voice Mellotron Choir] – Mikey Rowe*Sitar, Strings [Dilruba], Tabla, Whistle [Intro Tin Whistle] – Baluji ShrivastavViola – Levine AndradeViolin – Alex Balanescu*, Clio GouldVocals [Female Vox] – Christene Charly*Written-By – Dougans*, Cobain*
8 Guru Song
Backing Vocals [Female] – Anjali SagaFlute – Chris Margary*Guitar – Stinky Rowe*Sitar – Baluji ShrivastavWritten-By – Dougans*, Cobain*
9 Osho
Cello – Wayne Urqhart*Orchestrated By [Strings], Composed By [Strings] – Mau*Sitar, Strings [Dilruba], Flute – Baluji ShrivastavViola – Merlin Sturt*Violin – Charles Cross*, Jennifer Underhill, Vulu Krakovic*Voice ['how Come You're Never Around' Female Voices] – Christine CharleyVoice [Female Voices] – Riz MaslenWritten-By – Dougans*, Cobain*
10 Her Tongue Is Like A Jellyfish
Effects [Fx Warps] – Sampler JamSitar – Baluji ShrivastavWritten-By [Uncredited] – Dougans*, Cobain*
11 Meadows
Banjo – Big Freddy TeddyGuitar [Bottleneck Steel] – Gary LucasOrgan, Guitar [Additional] – Mike RoweSitar – Baluji ShrivastavStrings, Double Bass, Electric Piano [Rhodes], Producer [Additional Production] – Max RichterVoice [Intro Voice Narration] – Alexa HamiltonWritten-By – Dougans*, Trenet*, Cobain*, Richter*
12 High Tide On The Sea Of Flesh
Acoustic Guitar [Finger Pick], Electric Guitar ['ghost' Fx] – Gary LucasCello – Wayne Urqhart*Composed By [Strings], Orchestrated By [Strings] – Mau*, The Cabbage OrchestraSitar, Tabla, Strings [Dilruba] – Baluji ShrivastavViola – Merlin Sturt*Violin – Charles Cross*, Jennifer UnderhillWritten-By – Dougans*, Cobain*
13 The Galaxial Pharmaceutical
Cello – Sue MonksCello [Additional Mellotron Cello] – Mikey Rowe*Drums – Bertie*Drums [Rock Section] – Paul TyagiElectric Guitar – Stinky Rowe*Engineer – Stix (4)Engineer [Initial Recordings] – One Man Band Of Cosmos, Stix (4)Flugelhorn – Phillip BainbridgeMixed By [Master Montage] – Stone FreshwatersMixed By [Rock Section Splice-up And Montage] – Stone FreshwatersOrchestrated By [Additional Synth Orchestration Composed And Played By] – Sir Daniel Pemberton*Orchestrated By [Strings And Choir], Piano, Keyboards – Max RichterSaxophone – Chris Margery*Viola – Levine AndradeViolin – Alex Balanescu*, Clio GouldVoice [Additional] – Big Screen FX Singers, The Vaudeville StageVoice [Female Answer Machine Residue] – Sara GeppVoice [Female Voice] – Christine CharleyWritten-By – Dougans*, Cobain*, Richter*, Howell*

Companies, etc.



The same as FSOLCD101, only this version comes in a standard Jewel Case. Contains a 28 page booklet.

'Crawling Hare' and 'Minotaur' sculptures by Sophie Ryder [Page 9, 14, 15]

Elysian Feels contains a sample of Dif Juz 'Crosswinds' licensed courtesy of 4AD records and Gong 'A Sprinkling Of Clouds' licensed courtesy of Virgin recs.

All songs published by Sony ATV Music Publishing except: 1 Skratch Music. 3 Sony ATV / Universal Music Pub. 4 Sony / Chrysalis. 5 Sony ATV / EMI Music Pub. / Universal Music Pub. 11 Sony ATV / Max Richter / Independent Music Group. 13 Sony ATV / Max Richter / BMG Music Pub.

℗ 2002 Artful Records Ltd. © 2002 Artful Records Ltd. The copyright in this sound recording is owned by Artful Records Ltd. Made in the U.K. Distributed by The Universal Music Organisation and Fullfill.

Barcode and Other Identifiers

  • Barcode (String): 0 684340 000892

Other Versions (5 of 20) View All

Cat# Artist Title (Format) Label Cat# Country Year
FSOLLP101 Amorphous Androgynous The Isness(2xLP, Album, Gat) Future Sound Of London Recordings FSOLLP101 UK 2002 Sell This Version
FSOLCD101 Amorphous Androgynous The Isness(CD, Album, Ltd, Bur) Future Sound Of London Recordings FSOLCD101 UK 2002 Sell This Version
LPRSDTOT74 The Amorphous Androgynous* The Isness (The Abbey Road Version)(LP, Album, Ltd, Num) EBV LPRSDTOT74 UK, Europe & US 2018 Sell This Version
2234-2 The Future Sound Of London The Isness(CD, Album) Phonokol 2234-2 Israel 2002 Sell This Version
2600-2 Amorphous Androgynous The Isness(CD, Album) Sum Records (2) 2600-2 Brazil 2003 Sell This Version


Reviews Show All 9 Reviews

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July 19, 2006
edited over 12 years ago

The main problem with The Isness is that it was released by people who are known to be FSOL and it was marketed as 'the first FSOL album in 7 years'. As a result, all the attention was received from IDM/ambient fans, whereas the fans of psychedelic and prog rock didn't bother with the CD because most of them surely do not care much about FSOL. This seems pretty logical, I mean... You can't really expect too many electronica fans to like Pink Floyd-esque prog/psychedelic rock music. Neither can you expect prog rock fans to start buying FSOL albums. Therefore, this album was only positively received by the most open-minded FSOL fans and occasional prog rock fans who stumbled across the album by accident or recommendation - and that's not too many people at all.

From the musical point of view, this album is miraculous. It's an absolutely unforgettable experience, a trip into a nicer world of positive sounds, asian motives and soothing ambient soundscapes. "Divinity", "Meadows" and "Go Tell It To The Trees Egghead" alone are some of the most positively charged tracks I've ever come across. The album might not be as innovative as FSOL albums, but all those pretentious seekers of 'innovative' music should go to hell. Not always does the music have to be innovative. Sometimes it can just sound good. It really does feel like The Isness was produced with great care and a lot of love was put into it. A really light-hearted album that sort of tells you "Don't take life too serious, have fun, enjoy what you have - that's the main thing".

It's an absolute crying shame that such a divine album never got a chance to do its magic and has always been surrounded by mixed feelings and disappointments. It's even more absurd that a lot of people were getting put off by the album even before listening to it, simply because the answer to their question "How's the new FSOL album?" was "Bollocks... Shitty hippy guitar stuff".

This album is one of the few TRUE timeless masterpieces. It's just that in a better world, it wouldn't be so slagged off and overlooked. I just wish with all my heart that The Isness somehow finds its way to people who need to hear it and can appreciate it as much as I do and as much as it deserves.


December 19, 2005
edited over 12 years ago

I suppose people's real problem with The Isness is what they were expecting from the record. Luckily, I can enjoy music that isn't "innovative", as long as it's well written, and I enjoy the moods and melodies on The Isness without needing every record I buy to be some far-out innovative trip. Some people don't like the songs, which is fair enough, but to criticise this album for not being innovative is kind of missing the point. You mayaswell talk down Britney for not having enough guitar solos.


October 11, 2005
edited over 12 years ago

In a comparison with "Witches Brew", a reviewer compares the poor reception of "The Isness" with the poor reception of a record which actually introduced something (too) revolutionary. Well, the latter is exactly what every new FSOL record used to, and I loved them for it! I would love to see an FSOL "Witches Brew".

"The Isness" is, sadly, not guilty in stepping over any limits for innovation.. in fact, the ID quality of this release seems to be.. well, sounding a lot like David Bowie, Pink Floyd and other music I've already heard. Believe me, "The Isness" needs to stuff a truckload of cellos in there for it to actually supply the new sound I was hoping for.

What I and other guys criticize this release for, is, in other words not an "out of control innovation", but the lack of it!


February 16, 2005
edited over 13 years ago
It amuses me how consistently, and with startling similarity history repeats itself. When Miles Davis released 'Bitches Brew' in 1970, people dismissed it as incoherent noise; a complete sell-out to commercialism and the youth market. Today, however it is widely regarded as one of the most influential, inventive and important recordings in jazz history.

When avid fans of any artist encounter a radical change in their musical output, it's bound to be a confronting experience. The unfortunate thing is that many brilliant works of art are overlooked in the process, simply due to expectations; when fans become so enamoured with an artist's work, there is a certain restrictive element to the relationship. Any change in musical direction will often meet with disapproval, as if striving to develop and evolve artistically is somehow a betrayal.

The Isness is indeed a bold departure from the densely electronic, layered and looped sounds of albums gone before. Whilst there are still spacious, cinematic and surreal aspects to the proceedings, there are also much broader influences, ranging from Indian classical music, to Pink Floyd and The Beatles. The fusion of genres and instruments, not to mention the overtones of love, peace and happiness are steeped firmly in the '70's. However, to categorize this as a psychedelic rock album would be simplifying things.

Ironically, a lot of the elements of the post 'Dead Cities' FSOL are as present as ever here. Even with the addition of vocals, the album still flows with a certain cerebral, otherworldly atmosphere. The key difference is, instead of the instrumentation consisting entirely of samples and electronics, the majority of the album is either acoustic or electric. On the track Divinity, for example, there is trumpet, sitar, acoustic and electric guitars, tabla, violin, cello... In total, 15 musicians, plus a choir.

Ultimately, The Isness is a phenomenal achievement, and I find it unfortunate that it was received with mixed feelings. I can only hope that in 30 years time, people begin to rediscover and appreciate this album; devoid of preconceptions and expectations. It truly is a timeless, beautiful, and beguiling work of art.


October 6, 2004
edited over 13 years ago

Maybe I should elaborate.. for me, I'd been passively listening to rock and cheesy pop all through the 80s, and I was looking for music with attitude, music that appealed to me personally and intellectually. First I found techno, then I found psychedelics, then I found FSOL - Lifeforms. The rest, as they say, is history. :)

FSOL and AA were, for me, and many others, like a crazy, intelligent and at the same time very "musical" breathing hole in a very dull and stupid modern culture. FSOL/AA, for me, did to music what "The Matrix" did to action movies.

But then.. comes this sad disc. I'm not going to comment on it much further than that... Yes, it's smoothly produced, but it's "crazy" in a very forced and ultimately completely harmless way. To me, it's an absolute letdown of anything FSOL/AA was.

If you're satisfied with quasi-experimental stuff like Pink Floyd ("oooh we have 4 minute long guitar soundscapes"), I'm sure this will be mindblowing for you.

AA is supposed to be a completely separate project from FSOL, an outlet if you will. Will we ever see another masterful FSOL record though? Sadly, I doubt it.


August 28, 2004
edited over 14 years ago

For myself who was moved by (as in compleely removed from this reality) such music as ISDN and lifeforms and a few of tracks off dead cities this album was a terrible dissapoitment. I felt like they were going backwards not forwards and its almost a parady of psychedelic music rather than actually BEING psychedelic . The idea of mixing natural sounds with electronic is good, but not like this. They should listen to Shpongle.


October 20, 2003

I don't think they're out of ideas at all. Yes, a lot of stuff here is heavily influenced by 60s and 70s music, but it also sounds incredibly original at the same time. High Tide on the Sea of Flesh? Her Tongue is Like a Jellyfish? Hell, even The Mello Hippo Disco Show... ideas stolen from places (but that's what FSOL have always been about, isn't it?), but they sound pretty unique all the same.


June 28, 2003

This release was a big surprise to most Future Sound of London fans, as it really sounds nothing like their previous material, and is much more of a psychedelic rock album (as other people have pointed out, comparing it to David Bowie or Pink Floyd). Many fans were disappointed, as they wanted more of the classic Future Sound of London sound (which is awesome). Having said that, this is still a great album, provided you are aware that it's a very different style.

For those waiting for more Future Sound of London music, they have announced that they plan to continue both The Future Sound of London and Amorphous Androgynous as two separate entities, and are already planning a new Future Sound of London album and a new Amorphous Androgynous album. Plus the Divinity Single is supposed to be released soon. Those who didn't really like this album should probably look out for the new Future Sound of London sutff as oposed to the Amorphous Androgynous stuff. Me, I'll be getting both.