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THE AMORPHOUS ANDROGYNOUS

Psychedelic/Space Rock • United Kingdom


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The Amorphous Androgynous biography
AMORPHOUS ANDROGYNOUS is one of several monikers used by Garry Cobain and Brian Dougans - best known as The Future Sound of London.

This particular moniker was first utilized in 1993 for the album "Tales of Ephidrina", an experimental ambient exploration by the outfit that they didn't feel was a good fit for their regular band name at the time.

9 years later, in 2002, they chose to revivce this moniker for releases of a very different character, namely creations with heavy influences from 70's psychedelic progressive rock.

In quick succession, inbetween other ventures by the main members and helping hands of the band, "The Isness" was released in 2002, "The Otherness" in 2004, "Alice in Ultraland" in 2005 and "The Peppermint Tree and Seeds of Superconciousness" in 2008.



WHY IS THIS BAND LISTED AT PROGARCHIVES:
Disregarding the first album released under this moniker, AMORPHOUS ANDROGYNOUS have established themselves as an act that mix influences from psychedelic and acid folk and progressive rock of the early 70's with contemporary electronic elements and cosmic, ambient textures.

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Cartel 1Cartel 1
Import
Imports 2013
Audio CD$11.15
$16.00 (used)
Cartel 2Cartel 2
Import
Imports 2013
Audio CD$11.24
$16.00 (used)
Alice in UltralandAlice in Ultraland
Import
EMI Europe Generic 2005
Audio CD$9.44
$8.09 (used)
Tales of EphidrenaTales of Ephidrena
Astralwerks 1993
Audio CD$21.16
$0.01 (used)
Isness & the OthernessIsness & the Otherness
Import
101 DISTRIBUTION 2012
Audio CD$10.94
$26.86 (used)
A Monstrous Psychedelic Bubble Vol. 3A Monstrous Psychedelic Bubble Vol. 3
Import
Indie Europe/Zoom 2010
Audio CD$54.21
$51.66 (used)
Amorphous Androgynous: The Cartel Vinyl 2LP (Record Store Day 2014)Amorphous Androgynous: The Cartel Vinyl 2LP (Record Store Day 2014)
Monstrous Bubble Soundtracks
Vinyl$29.95
Mello Hippo Disco ShowMello Hippo Disco Show
Import
Future Sound Of London Recordings 2006
Audio CD$23.50
$7.90 (used)
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THE AMORPHOUS ANDROGYNOUS discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

THE AMORPHOUS ANDROGYNOUS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.12 | 7 ratings
Tales of Ephidrina
1993
3.81 | 12 ratings
The Isness
2002
3.50 | 4 ratings
The Otherness
2004
1.30 | 4 ratings
Alice in Ultraland
2005
3.33 | 3 ratings
The Peppermint Tree and Seeds of Superconciousness
2008
3.50 | 4 ratings
The Cartel Vol. 1
2013
3.85 | 4 ratings
The Cartel Vol.2
2013

THE AMORPHOUS ANDROGYNOUS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

THE AMORPHOUS ANDROGYNOUS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

THE AMORPHOUS ANDROGYNOUS Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 1 ratings
The Isness & The Otherness
2004

THE AMORPHOUS ANDROGYNOUS Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

THE AMORPHOUS ANDROGYNOUS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Cartel Vol.2 by AMORPHOUS ANDROGYNOUS, THE album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.85 | 4 ratings

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The Cartel Vol.2
The Amorphous Androgynous Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by admireArt

4 stars I certainly will point out to "Psychedelic/Space Rock" followers, that in able to get the most of this "instrumental" project (released in 3 parts), you should have some "knack" for RIO/AG and Jazz/Fusion. It, in fact sounds like this mixture and also of course the "electronic" touch of "The Future Sound of London" (which is the band that led me to "Androginous Amorphous" in the first place). I will not bore you with all the speculations about Noel Gallagher's participation or the return of some old time guest, nor the involvement of a member of Syd Arthur. To me, really, if the song writing is bad, you could play alongside Jesus and Budha and still don't make it happen. Anyway, if I had to choose between the also very good "Cartel Vol. 1", I will stick to this one, this flawless jewel, Vol.2., but will not miss the first, (it will be senseless), of this two parts of the same "3 part project" .

An excellent display of straight forward music in mostly short timed songs (no long "overtures" or stuff like that), in a variety of musical expressions or "orientations", (not unlike their previous efforts), that are daring, yet unpretentious, in both song-writing and genre styling. It sounds fresh and refreshing, bold and original, perfectly manufactured, edited and concieved. Both records (I haven't heard the 3th.),sum up 5 stars together, this the second part of this "trilogy", for me, ****4.5 PA stars, and my 2013's probable best and my RIO/AG favorite record of the year, although it does not figure in that genre.

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 Alice in Ultraland by AMORPHOUS ANDROGYNOUS, THE album cover Studio Album, 2005
1.30 | 4 ratings

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Alice in Ultraland
The Amorphous Androgynous Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by russellk
Prog Reviewer

1 stars My mother told me that if you can't say anything polite, it's best to say nothing at all. I'm afraid I won't be taking her advice.

Not content with the most extreme change of direction in the history of music - from techno to 60's psychedelic prog rock - AMORPHOUS ANDROGYNOUS aka FUTURE SOUND OF LONDON went further and produced a second psychedelic disc a couple of years after the first. Where the first disc (The Isness) had power, this is flaccid. Where The Isness had beauty, this has mundanity. And where The Isness gave us the sounds of nostalgia, this gives us - well, ill-considered noise. Apart from the first track, a prelude to disappointment, this album is uniformly without merit. It was as though their market research had led DOUGAN and COBAINS to believe all their listeners wanted was a 'sound-alike' record. We still get the wide variety of instruments, most from the East, the electronica is still as weird as ever and the production is sumptuous, but these parts do not make a cohesive whole. Moreover, there are virtually no songs here. No meaning to attach to these sounds of the 60s. 'The World Is Full Of Plankton' raises its head for a moment above the primordial ooze, but that's about it for this record.

There's only room in your collection for one faux-sixties psychedelic sound-alike record, and it ought to be 'The Isness'. Do not be tempted to buy this.

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 The Isness by AMORPHOUS ANDROGYNOUS, THE album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.81 | 12 ratings

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The Isness
The Amorphous Androgynous Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by russellk
Prog Reviewer

4 stars One of the most ill-judged records ever released, and which proved to be a career-breaker, 'The Isness' is in fact an excellent foray into the world of late 60s - early 70s psychedelica. Trouble was, this by a duo (COBAINS and DOUGAN) whose previous work had been cutting-edge IDM (Intelligent Dance Music) under the FUTURE SOUND OF LONDON moniker. When this came out it received a uniformly hostile reception from fans and mixed reviews from critics. Why on earth were these talented lads releasing a prog rock album? The Times loved it, AllMusic hated it. It was released in two quite different versions (I have both) and even under two different band names (AMORPHOUS ANDROGYNOUS in the UK, FUTURE SOUND OF LONDON in the US).

What should prog fans make of it? The album is a heady mix of retro-prog and twenty-first century production values, with an enormous variety of instruments - featuring heavy reliance on Eastern influences - and some reasonably respectable singing. Sitars, tabla drums, string quartets, flutes, banjos and chimes mix with the superb electronic wizardry COBAINS and DOUGAN are famous for to create a compelling psychedelic journey. There are some standout songs: the instrumental 'The Lovers', for example, is flat-out gorgeous, though it does stray into techno territory. 'The Mello Hippo Disco Show' is full-on retro keyboard heaven, Hammonds and mellotrons, giving out a 'Strawberry Fields' vibe, with absurd 'I Am The Walrus'-like lyrics. 'Elysian Feels' and 'Go Tell It To The Trees, Egghead' are excellent instrumentals, while 'Divinity' is a golden track, oozing bliss, stepping in DONOVAN's shoes and (probably) just avoiding cheesiness - though SIMON AND GARFUNKEL might want to sue. It even incorporates a dreamy brass section. 'Her Tongue Is Like A Jellyfish' is a bizarre juxtaposition of beautiful strings and weird electronic noises. The gorgeous 'Meadows' pays homage to PINK FLOYD's 'Grantchester Meadows', though the mighty Floyd were never this strange. 'High Tide On The Sea Of Flesh' channels early TANGERINE DREAM. Trust me, had this stuff been released in 1968, it would have sold millions. It really is very good. The final track 'The Galaxial Pharmaceutical' (and if that's not a hint I've never heard one) is an absolutely brilliant prog rock epic (divided into two parts on my promo), building to a superb climax, and is a must-listen for every lover of progressive music. The psychedelic feel is utterly convincing.

And that's the trouble. This is retro-prog, harking back to a time most of us barely remember, and as such is dissociated from contemporary life. When we listen to records from that time we not only hear the music, we relive old times. We can do no such thing with this material. Because it is so out of its time, because it is so obviously a re-creation, the album must be approached with caution. Those who crave originality - whatever that is - should steer clear. For the love of God, run! But if you want something with compelling tunes, crystal clear sound and that 60s psychedelic vibe, this is the album to get.

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 Tales of Ephidrina by AMORPHOUS ANDROGYNOUS, THE album cover Studio Album, 1993
3.12 | 7 ratings

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Tales of Ephidrina
The Amorphous Androgynous Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by russellk
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 'Tales of Ephidrina' is the first album by AMORPHOUS ANDROGYNOUS, but is by no means the first outing by GARRY COBAIN and BRIAN DOUGANS, the duo behind FUTURE SOUND OF LONDON (famous for their hit 'Papua New Guinea'). In common with the IDM (intelligent Dance Music) scene in the early 1990s, artists recorded under a wide variety of names - these two had at least twenty different aliases.

AMORPHOUS ANDROGYNOUS was formed to allow the duo to experiment a little more freely than their label would allow them to using their FSOL name. They released this one album in 1993, then put AA into hiatus, mainly because this experimental music became the stock-in-trade of FSOL. AMORPHOUS ANDROGYNOUS was resurrected a decade later to allow the duo to record a few psychedelic albums, which is why they appear here in PA.

Confused? Welcome to the world of IDM.

What you get here is a fairly respectable dance album. Not, I must make clear, house or trance, but a collection of techno soundscapes that tend towards the ambient. The tracks segue into each other in trademark FSOL fashion, are sample-heavy and clever, but by no means represent the best of the genre. FSOL's own work 'Lifeforms', 'ISDN' and 'Dead Cities' are better places for the prog-inclined listener to visit, leaning more towards the ambient, coupled with real power and menace. Only one track on this album approaches the best this duo were capable of, the eponymous 'Ephidrina', built around a sinister loop. 'Liquid Insects' is the best of the rest.

AMORPHOUS ANDROGYNOUS (and, indeed, FSOL) are a classic example of a genre that is heavily influenced by the progressive rock movement. Their music is long and complex, the tracks often share motifs with each other, and the songs build to a conclusion. The beats may sound as though they belong on the dance floor, but the best of IDM is comprised of sophisticated rhythms.

This album is not representative of the AMORPHOUS ANDROGYNOUS catalogue, and is best passed by by the average progger.

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