The Future Sound Of LondonLifeforms

Label:Astralwerks – ASW 6113-2, Virgin – 7243 8 39433 2 6, Caroline Records – 7243 8 39433 2 6
2 x CD, Album
Style:Leftfield, Illbient, IDM, Ambient, Downtempo, Experimental


1-2Ill Flower3:25
Guitar [Textures]Robert Fripp
Sounds [Bytes]Ozric Tentacles, Robert Fripp
Written-ByGrossart*, Williams*, Fripp*, Nightingale*, Thompson*
1-4Bird Wings1:30
1-5Dead Skin Cells6:51
1-8Among Myselves5:53
2-2Spineless Jelly4:42
2-4Vertical Pig6:45
Vocals [Texture]Toni Halliday
2-6Life Form Ends
Tabla [Tronics]Talvin Singh
2-9Room 2086:13
2-10Elaborate Burn3:16
2-11Little Brother5:13

Companies, etc.



℗ 1994 Virgin Records Ltd.
© 1994 Virgin Records Ltd.

Total running time CD1: 40:36 CD2: 51:53 (CD Player)

Catalog # - Disc 1 (7243 8 39683 2 9)
Catalog # - Disc 2 (7243 8 39684 2 8)

Barcode and Other Identifiers

  • Barcode: 0 1704 66113 2 9
  • Matrix / Runout (CD1 variants 1, 3): 124431-D2-4121-2 DISCTRONICS USA **ASW6113**
  • Matrix / Runout (CD1 variant 2): 124431-D4-4129-1 DISCTRONICS USA **ASW6113**
  • Matrix / Runout (CD2 variants 1, 2, 3): 124432-D2-4129-2 DISCTRONICS USA **ASW-6113-2**
  • Other (CD1 variant 2, hub ring): I
  • Other (CD1 variant 3, hub ring): B
  • Other (CD2 variant 2, hub ring): B
  • Other (CD2 variant 3, hub ring): X
  • Other (Catalog # - CD1): 7243 8 39683 2 9
  • Other (Catalog # - CD2): 7243 8 39684 2 8

Other Versions (5 of 25)

View All
Title (Format)LabelCat#CountryYear
Recently Edited
Lifeforms (2×CD, Album)Virgin, VirginCDV 2722, 7243 8 39433 2 6UK & Europe1994
Lifeforms (2×LP, Album)Virgin, Virgin, Virgin, EBV, EBV, EBV7243 8 39433 1 9, V2722, V 2722UK & Europe1994
Recently Edited
Lifeforms (2×CD, Album)Virgin Music Canada, Virgin Music CanadaV2 7243 8 39433 2 6, 7243 8 39433 2 6Canada1994
Lifeforms (2×CD, Album)Virgin, Virgin, EBV, EBV7243 8 39433 2 6, CDV 2722UK & Europe1994
Lifeforms (2×CD, Album, Stereo)Virgin, VirginCDV 2722, 7243 8 39433 2 6UK & Europe1994
  • Eric6807's avatar
    Edited 2 years ago
    This is the best album from FSOL. Excellent experimental music with elements of ambient and sounds of nature. Still sounds pretty fresh even by today's standards. A+
    • jackthetab's avatar
      Edited 2 years ago
      This is truly one of the best FSOL disc's to date. The music took a few listens to appreciate it back in the day. Even today, this disc was way ahead of its time. The mixing is so masterful. I picked this up after seeing them live in NYC back in 1994/1995. The visual show was enough for me to buy the double album. This is truly a classic techno ambient release that really sounds as fresh today as it did when it was first released.
      • BJW414's avatar
        Edited 3 years ago
        i just downloaded it. i like FSOL. but 'lifeforms disc 1' is a mix a rip-offs and generic techno.
        'cascade' is a rip-off of 'transient generator' by spacetime continuum.
        'dead skin cells' is a rip-off of 'A Huge Ever Growing Pulsating Brain That Rules From The Centre Of The Ultraworld' by the orb.
        'eggshell' is a rip-off of 'midnight' by orbital.
        'lifeforms' is a good, original song. but every other song on disc 1 is a rip-off and / or generic, unoriginal techno.
        i haven't listened enough to disc 2 to review it.
        p.s. 'dead cities' is my favorite FSOL album.
        • nateuptoolate's avatar
          Ah, rolling all night in the early 90s... joyful electronica. Just add Papua New Guinea 12 inch with Lisa of DCD, and you've got playlist to reach ecstasy. The single Cascade has a 40 minute remix / journey thru the song with sampled Cocteau Twins' Liz.
          • mjb's avatar
            Edited 5 years ago
            As reviewed by me in May 1994 (see also my less charitable review from 2005):

            Summary: I didn't need of change of underwear after I first heard it, but I think I just didn't have enough to eat that day. If you like electronic music at all, any kind, you must, I repeat, you MUST buy this album. If you don't like it, I'll send you a free gift in the mail.

            I'm sorry. At the risk of being dipped in the Bog of Eternal Stench, I have to say that Future Sound of London are as overrated as Richard D. James and their new album Lifeforms, although it is the best thing they've ever done and I really do like it, is actually in some respects a turd of a CD that gives electronic music a bad name. Now before I get a flood of hate mail from the Intelligent Dance Music mailing list, hear me out. In a recent interview in MixMag promoting the album, Gary Cobain stated that he felt ambient music was 90% bollocks, full of bandwagon-jumpers, and that it was all a bunch of regressive crap, sounding like Tangerine Dream. Anyone who knows me knows that I am rather fond of Tangerine Dream, so I didn't take to this lightly. But what really struck me as odd is that their album is so full of artificial squawks, burbly galoops, zaps and pointless "hey, listen to this novel sound! oo! wasn't that cool?! buwahaha!" distractions that I have to compare it to early electronic music, like from the 50s and 60s, when self-righteous academics played artsy-fartsy noisescapes for each other. At times while listening to Lifeforms I think that without the extra effects, the links between the proper songs are extracts from those old compositions. It's like being stuck in a noisy aquarium.

            On the other hand, I must say that I also listen to it and think, "This is also some of the most advanced electronic music I've ever heard." When the songs get going, man, parts of my brain I didn't even know existed turn on and start to hum, and goosebumps light across my neck. The press release says they blur the lines between ambient and techno to the point where you can't say it's either, and they're right. These two men are perfectionists of the highest order, and it shows. Taking the "noisy aquarium" analogy with a grain of salt, the textural merits of the less appealing parts are blessedly sweet, and every track is a standout. Absorbed in whole or in part, I don't come away unsatisfied. I think they don't realize that regression, no matter how unintentional, is a form of progression, and when they come to grips with that they'll be able to avoid the recklessness of making noise for the sake of noise. Perhaps with their next album, Amorphous Androgynous: Environments. As you can see, I've got mixed feelings about Lifeforms... but in the end I have to give it the highest rating. After all, I'm not one to complain. :)
            • kasedillz's avatar
              The sound, production and mixing is ahead of it's time.
              • badhack's avatar
                This is not a double album, but two albums in one package. The first has a strong nature influence and does inspire thoughts of life and nature in me. The second album is more typical ambient with more prominent drum beats and synth sounds.
                • simonamery's avatar
                  Bought this one when it first came out cos i liked the picture on the cover and inside.Not perhaps the best criteria for choosing music but it seems to work for me every now and then and in the case of this album it was the best gamble i have ever made. Plenty of long winded reviews have been written about this album but all i can say is that the two discs are to me just two very different but fantastic musical journeys that need to be enjoyed with a like minded soul on with the stereo on loud or just on your own with youre headphones on and good wine or any combination of the above. Never do i get bored of the music or switch it of early or answer the phone. You get the picture !
                  • antonbanks's avatar
                    Truth be told, I bought this album on a whim when I was first getting into electronic music purely because the cover looked cool and because I liked what I had heard on the Astralwerks label. It took me a few tries to really "get" what I was listening to but what I heard grew on me exponentially once I did. It has been almost 14 years since I first heard this album and yet I still consider "Lifeforms" to be by far one of the best ambient/downtempo albums I have ever come across. The entire album is filled with very lush and layered soundscapes. Anyone interested in this album should also listen to the "Lifeforms" remixes. That release can be considered a very definite continuation of this album.

                    I rated this album (and the remixes) 5/5. Highly recommended.
                    • Maurautius's avatar
                      This is what I would call a timeless album. To fully appreciate this music you need to devote enough time to listen to both discs in one sitting... Whether thats while you're sleeping, surfing the web or even playing videogames. The result will be the same: you will be overcome by the world The Future Sound of London have created with this release. Impossible to describe. This is just something you have to hear for yourself. If you like electronica and ambient stuff then you could never go wrong with this release. Its worth noting that 2 additions for this release exist. The first being "Cascade" and the second is "Lifeforms (remixes)". Both are EPs and include tracks from the album reworked by FSOL themselves. Must-haves if you enjoyed this release. I hope someday FSOL will return to their 90's sound.



                      20 For Sale from $2.44


                      • Last Sold:
                      • Lowest:$3.50
                      • Median:$5.79
                      • Highest:$21.00

                      Videos (48)