Kris Weston, FFWD, 1994

FFWD

(via archive | DEP3.)

FFWD is an eponymous album by FFWD – Robert Fripp, Thomas Fehlmann, Kris Weston, and Alex Duncan Paterson released in 1994. All files are full quality aiff’s.

This is one of my favourite productions. Its mostly Robert Fripp’s guitar work and my production, keyboards and computer tweakery. Fripp said at the time it was the best thing hes ever worked on – which is not true, but still was a great compliment 🙂 Thomas Fehlmann and Alex Patterson were also involved, mostly in a sort of consulting role, however I’ve read things on the internet which say the exact opposite and that I did almost nothing on it – [rolls eyes]. Alex contributed some BBC sound effects records as was his usual modus operandi and Thomas didn’t do much apart from moral support and the occasional production opinion. Andy Hughes, the now deceased engineer who stole my delay unit (karma?) also did a sort of high bleepy sound in one of these tunes. He looked like he was bored so I let him. Should have sacked him there and then, hindsight is a bitch though.

…The rest of the post is very interesting for anyone who has ever wondered why the character of The Orb’s music changed so dramatically not long after this recording (the subject usually makes Kris’ flesh crawl).

The album title is an acronym for the artists, but a self deprecating joke at the ambient approach too– though this album is extremely engaging and far from ambient– as if to say, “Well, as soon as you philistines get a hold of this CD, you should probably just hold down the fast forward button.” I don’t know what the symbol in the upper left means, but it is surely alluding to the e:mit album art glyph.

FFWD has been, for the ten years or so I’ve known of its existence, my absolutely most prized album– I bought a copy of the CD from eBay for $39 immediately after finding out about it and borrowing it from another DJ back when I was doing my late-night ambient and experimental radio broadcast, Gray December, at WEVL FM 89.9 in Memphis. I have it on vinyl too. I dislike talking about music or telling anyone what to think, but I will say that it is essential listening for the genre, and like a lot of what Orb produced during this time… I will go so far as to say a high-point of all early-21st music “Buckwheat & Grits” is one of the most gorgeous pieces of music I’ve ever heard. I wore it out playing it on Gray December (and the following piece, “Klangtest”), and it defined for me those strange last few years in Memphis. I completely stole this name to use for my website, but what it exactly meant has always been known only to me.