My Kingdom

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'My Kingdom' is a single by Brian Dougans and Gaz Cobain as The Future Sound of London.

Info[edit]

After an intense period of releases in the first half of the 1990s, Brian and Gaz took some time out to record without putting any records out. Only the Semtex DJ promo in summer of 1996 came out between the second issue of ISDN in early 1995 and 'My Kingdom' in October 1996. The long wait paid off, and 'My Kingdom' raced to number 13 in the UK charts, beating their previous biggest-seller 'Lifeforms by one place.

The EP is structured in the same manner as 'Lifeforms' and 'Cascade', as a continuous suite split over five parts. The opening part features the main theme, which had been initially premiered during the band's only ISDN performance in 1995, and later reworked for Dead Cities. Much like 'Cascade', the single version is a radically different mix to the album version, with an ebbing and flowing structure that builds up with a newly recorded synth section before breaking down to near silence, from which comes a ghostly Mary Hopkin vocal from the Blade Runner soundtrack. These grand dynamic shifts and eleven minute runtime give the piece an epic, sprawling feel that is notably different to their earlier works. Leon Mar, aka Oil, provides a drum'n'bass reworking for 'Part 2'. 'Part 3' is a much darker piece, with looped guitar motifs, and an introductory section that reappears on Dead Cities track 'Everyone in the World is Doing Something Without Me', as well as scattered samples from 'Part 1'. The fourth part reprises the original theme with a faster, IDM-tinged beat. The radio edit appears this time as 'Part 5'. Three samples are credited: flutes from Ennio Morricone's Once Upon a Time in America soundtrack piece 'Cockeye's Song', guitars by Ozric Tentacles track 'Phalarn Dawn', and the aforementioned Mary Hopkin vocal. The title stems from an in-joke of the band's, in which they would stand overlooking the park in Dollis Hill and proclaim 'My kingdom!' in the manner of a Roman emperor, first conceived on hearing of 'Papua New Guinea's chart success in 1992.

The cover features a half-demolished building, mirrored, alongside what appear to be the tentacles of the 'Electronic Brain' spike model converging beneath a floating cube. The distinctly urban setting of the image is at odds with the more exotic flavour of the band's earlier imagery, and acts as an introduction to the world the band were exploring during the Dead Cities era. The track's promotional video similarly takes a turn for the urban, mostly filmed around Dollis Hill in London, the home of Earthbeat Studios. The video features the first blending of CG models and live footage in the band's videos, with various globules, shapes and creatures being seen floating around streets. The video also features a large cast, including Vit and Simon Wells among others, and something much closer to a direct narrative than earlier videos: a shady business deal involving an amorphous briefcase takes place; strange craft appear in the sky; creatures amok on Primrose Hill, Tower Bridge is on fire; and Vit's sneeze is loud enough to scare away nearby goats. The band, Sheuneen and the 'Electronic Brain' spike model are all conspicuous in their absence. The video was played on the popular UK music show Top of the Pops on the week the track entered the charts. The sleeve of the single features the EBv logo and, continuing from the ISDN era, the 'Electronic Brain Violence' legend. Buggy is back in the credits again after being absent for the ISDN era. Posters for the single describe the release as "30 minutes of head-blending experiments for the sonically inverted."

The single received a second batch of reworkings in 2018 on My Kingdom Re-Visited.

Video[edit]

Issues[edit]

  • 1996 Virgin (VSCDT1605, 7243 8 93817 2 6 / VST 1605, 7243 8 93817 6 4 / VSTDJ1605 / VSTC 1605, 7243 8 93817 4 0)
  • 1996 Astralwerks (ASW 6184)
  • 1996 Delabel (VHS)

European CD, Standard 12" in picture sleeve, promo 12" in generic sleeve with sticker, cassette. US CD. French promo VHS.

Track listing[edit]

VSCDT1605 / ASW 6184 (CD) / VSTC 1605 (Cass)[edit]

  1.  "My Kingdom Part 1" – 10:50
  2.  "My Kingdom Part 2" – 3:15
  3.  "My Kingdom Part 3" – 7:11
  4.  "My Kingdom Part 4" – 5:12
  5.  "My Kingdom Part 5" – 3:54

VST 1605 / VSTDJ1605 (12")[edit]

  1.  "My Kingdom Part 1" – 10:50
  2.  "My Kingdom Part 2" – 3:15
  3.  "My Kingdom Part 3" – 7:11
  4.  "My Kingdom Part 4" – 5:12

VHS[edit]

  1. "My Kingdom"

Credits[edit]

  • Written by Dougans / Cobain
  • Produced by The Future Sound of London
  • Engineered by Yage
  • Recorded at Earthbeat Studios, London
  • Guitar sample - Ozric Tentacles from 'Pungent Effulgent'
  • Flute sample from 'Once Upon a Time in America' (Ennio Morricone)
  • Voice sample from 'Rachel's Song (Vangelis) from the film soundtrack 'Blade Runner', sung by Mary Hopkin
  • Drums - Richie Thomas 'caught with the DAT running'
  • Drums - Leon Mar - Part 2 re-construct
  • Photography and image construction Buggy G. Riphead
  • Concept Electronic Brain Violence / Riphead
  • Additional modelling by Olaf Wendt

Availability[edit]

  • The physical single is out of print, but can be picked up easily from various second hand outlets.
  • Cassette copies are on sale at FSOLDigital
  • Digital copies are available from the usual download and streaming outlets