Future Loop Foundation

Time and Bass

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    5
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By the time Future Loop Foundation's debut album came around, both the progressive/ambient house and (arguably) the drum'n'bass bandwagons had not simply been jumped on, but practically trampled underfoot. Later years brought even more trend-following, so if in retrospect Time and Bass sounds like the background music for Sci-Fi Channel promo spots circa 1999, that's really not Future Loop Foundations' fault, but merely the accident of history. Taken on its own and appreciated for the snapshot of dance history it is, though, Time and Bass is an enjoyable listen, fusing the two seemingly disparate styles into a pleasing if somewhat soundalike whole. The basic formula throughout the album is swirling, rhythmic keyboard washes plus polite drum loops and vocal snippets here and there, with occasional subtle switches or variations within the songs themselves. The sudden stripping down to percussion and wordless singing halfway into "Kinetic Pioneers" is a good example, as are the stuttering semi-silences on "Carla's Dream," turning the singing into a slightly queasy bit of odd psychedelia (along with the backward drums). Plenty of familiar moves and instrumentation crop up -- it's little surprise that "Spirit Catcher" uses didgeridoo as the background bed of the piece, while elsewhere sounds like muezzin wails on "Shake the Ghost" appear. The overall mood never explodes into complete hyperactive chaos or simply drifts off -- one can't help but feel that maybe the right light show and 4 a.m. experience would give the songs a greater overall heft. Compared to the highs of the Orb and the Irresistible Force, Time and Bass is second tier, but it's still perfect soundtracking if one wants a little more activity with one's dreamy meditations.

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