TF Archives


Author: Andrez
Sunday, January 1, 1995
Remember when almost every city in the world seemed to boast a 'Future Sound Of . . .' band- London, Lisbon, Chicago and Amsterdam jump to mind and right here in Australia we have Future Sound Of Melbourne. While most of their contemporaries - apart from FSOL - have faded into the annals of techno history, FSOM continues to develop and thrive and will headline the Australian acts who perform at the Apollo Festival in February.

Josh Abrahams got together with Melbourne DJs Davide Carbone and Steve Robbins in about 1990 after hearing them play at a club one night, and it was in Josh's studio called Fishtank Recordings that Future Sound Of Melbourne was born. Subsequently better known under its acronym FSOM, the group released their first single in April 1992.

Davide Carbone still vividly recalls those early days and the philosophy that motivated them in a city where techno and electronic music was still a dirty word. "I remember when we started we sat down and said to ourselves that we had to do this; we wanted to write this music and no-one was releasing it out there. No-one else out there was releasing this kind of music and we knew most record companies wouldn't be interested, but it didn't matter to us. So we went from nowhere to a small, loyal following in Melbourne and on from there. FSOM's working philosophy has always really remained the same - it's underground and innovative music. Doubts about this arose when we signed with Volition and then again when we won the ARIA award [for 'Chapter One'], but all those things ever meant for us was that we could remain more underground than ever."

So how does the FSOM junta work together now- "I think it's brilliant," rhapsodizes Davide. "The three of us have matured in totally different directions, yet we've maintained an absolute respect for each other's music. I think that bodes well for people being able to come together and write music in that sort of environment because you're not embarrassed to try something new or different - you've got the confidence in your partners to do so. We're really love what we've been doing and we're confident that we're going to come up with some great stuff, but we're keeping it quiet at the moment until we get together enough material to begin shopping around for a label."

One of FSOM's strengths has been its live work at clubs and raves, and over the years they've played at Melbourne's principle parties supporting the likes of Dave Clarke, Jeff Mills, Thomas Heckmann, Carl Cox and Luke Slater. This workload, however, has had its down-side as Davide explains. "Unfortunately the thing that's stopped us from writing material together over the past year has been the amount of work we've put into live sets. All three of us are very busy people doing our own projects, so it's been hard to find the time to get all of us in the studio at the same time."

The fact is that these guys are very busy. Josh has gone on to earn himself numerous production kudos, making music under his own name as well as The Pagan, Bassliners and The Edison Project, and he's recently been involved in a remix project with 'Romeo & Juliet' director Baz Luhrmann. Steve has immersed himself in performing live as well as producing music, most recently a vinyl EP for new Melbourne label SPR*Mint Recordings. Both Davide and Steve Robbins are prolific DJs across the board in Melbourne, playing at clubs and warehouse parties as well as on radio stations 3RRR and Kiss FM. And while Steve continues to explore the various tangents of acidic techno and house, Davide has crossed over completely into the vast realm that is drum 'n' bass. "I'm just really into it," he enthuses. "I'm always on the look out for new material by Dillinja, DJ Krust, Optical and Matrix - artists who really take time to innovate music and sounds as we know it."

Jungle and its drum 'n' bass off-shoots have continued to develop in Melbourne from the select few who attended<