In the past year there were plenty of new experimental releases from the likes of labels such as PAN, and Editions Mego/Spectrum Spools. It’s not looking to slow down much in 2013, but it poses a question as to whether or not this music is truly a new phenomenon, or simply part of a cycle that is repeating itself throughout history.

The early 1990′s saw a variety of experimental electronic music that isn’t completely unlike the trends of today. Outfits like The Black Dog, KLF, Autechre, Aphex Twin and Global Communication, this list goes on and on. Those that were there at the time will remember a similar intermingling of ambient and noise based sounds with that of house and techno.

The Future Sound of London released Lifeforms in 1994, which was a landmark album for its time. This work takes on a very experimental form combining beats with ambiance and other strange quirks and oddities of sound. Its tracks are beautiful elegiac landscapes of sound that bring you to undiscovered places. Imaginative as they are complex, it is difficult to parse the tracks by using the human language and we’ll certainly not attempt to do so here.

By comparison, some of today’s drone and experimental producers fall flat of this level of density and subtlety of detail. Monotonic drone simply does not bring you to these otherworldly places, it doesn’t have a life unto itself the way this album does. One can only hope that we will soon return to the kind of stunning soundscapes of Lifeforms sometime in the near future, if the ’90s continues to repeat itself going forward.

1. Cascade
2. Ill Flower
3. Flak
4. Bird Wings
5. Dead Skin Cells
6. Lifeforms
7. Eggshell
8. Among Myselves

1. Domain
2. Spineless Jelly
3. Interstat
4. Vertical Pig
5. Cerebral
6. Life Form Ends
7. VIT
8. Omnipresence
9. Room 208
10. Elaborate Burn
11. Little Brother