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Time and Bass

Future Loop Foundation

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Album Review

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.

Biography

Born: 1971 in Sheffield, Yorkshire, England

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '90s, '00s

An ambient-inspired jungle producer more intent on recording solid full-lengths than jump-up singles, Mark Barrott recorded for Planet Dog Records, known more for its crusty psychedelic trance than breakbeat futurism. Barrott, born in Sheffield, played piano as a child and became intrigued with synthesizers. He had a rudimentary home-studio setup by the early '90s, after acid-house, ambient, and the first wave of jungle had made successive waves in England. Barrott began recording downtempo drum'n'bass...
Full bio
Time and Bass, Future Loop Foundation
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