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FSOL's 1991 SINGLE "PAPUA NEW GUINEA" STANDS THE TEST OF TIME

Posted by Billyjam, August 28, 2008 02:46pm | Post a Comment

Future Sound of London (FSOL), the duo comprised of Garry Cobain and Brian Dougans, had their breakout hit with "Papua New Guinea" in 1991 and the track remains both the UK electronic group's best known and arguPapua New Guinea - FSOLably best recording ever. It is one of those great records where the first time you heard it, it just grabbed you and pulled you in, leaving you thinking: WTF was that? Even now, all these years later, after just re-listening to it for the first time in ages, it sounds as tight (to these ears) as when it was first released 17 years ago. 

The song has the perfect balance of the slow rumbling bass, a trancey mix of breakbeats, plus the pitch perfect mix of dreamy vocals and sounds, all cascading into a dance pop masterpiece; one that has been remixed to death by DJs/producers all over the world who all helped make this a true rave/club classic. One of the great remixes I got of it back in the day was by the Twitch guys -- the SF remix crew that included Jim Hopkins, who used to put out limited edition double vinyl (later released on CD) sets at 45RPM of nearly always really great remixes of popular rave/techno tracks, including many UK imports.

"Papua New Guinea" also appeared on FSOL's album Accelerator as well on the 1992 soundtrack to the film Cool World.  Besides being remixed countless times, the song has also been released in various versions many times over the years since its original release (both bootlegged and legit versions + on countless compilations/DJ mixes) with the most notable including re-releases in 1996, 2003, and in 2001 when a five version EP of the song was released on FSOL's label Jumpin' & Pumpin featuring the original "Papua New Guinea" plus remixes by Hybrid, Satoshi Tomiie, Blue States, and Simian.

The original mix of "Papua New Guinea" contains several samples, most notably the bassline from Meat Beat Manifesto's track "Radio Babylon" released a year earlier. I have included the MBM track below to hear the original bass source that the song is indebted to. Other original sound sources for "Papau New Guinea" include samples of Circuit's "Shelter Me" and Lisa Gerrard's singing on the Dead Can Dance song "Dawn Of The Iconoclast" from the DCD 1987 album Within the Realm of a Dying Sun.