Boomkat Product Review:
“Built By Humanoid” is Humanoid's second album, a mere 30 years after the debut, though Brian Dougans claims the first album wasn't really him anyway.
"Humanoid's classic acid house single, ‘Stakker Humanoid’, highly regarded as one of the key tracks from the era (Richard James (Aphex Twin) sights the Stakker project as a major influence), enjoyed massive success in 1988. Reaching No.1 for 5 weeks in the UK dance charts, performances on Top of the Pops, a John Peel session for the BBC and European tours eventually led to an album deal. Whilst all this was happening, Brian Dougans (one half of electronic legends Future Sound of London) claims he was returning to his squat in Kings Cross with no electricity or water. He not only became disillusioned with the business, but also became increasingly ill from the conditions he was living in. Around 6 tracks into the album, he left London and record label, Streetsounds, returning to Manchester to recover and regroup his thoughts. However, Steetsounds pressed ahead with the album and it was finished in Brian’s absence with guest performers.
Brian left Humanoid behind and went on to create FSOL with Gaz Cobain becoming leading lights in the burgeoning ambient scene, scoring a top 10 album "Lifeforms" on Virgin Records. In 2003 Rephlex (Aphex Twin’s label) released a posthumous album of 1988 out takes compiled by Brian. Recently Humanoid tracks have been popping up on modern compilation albums (Touched Music / Gasman, etc) signalling a possible return. “Built by Humanoid” is a brand new nine track album of future acid cuts, breaks and electronics, a lot of which is credited to 2 synthesisers co-designed by Brian Dougans and English Electronics company Digitana. It is this innovation that has helped usher Humanoid back into the limelight and consequently the album has a rather new and unique sound and style. The track ‘Polymath’ is created using a possibility / probability theory that results in a track which at no point repeats itself - 303 tinged acidic bubbles. Meanwhile ‘Traktion’ is a break beat, pulse laden, bass heavy monster. ‘Fu*k It’ is the future sound of 303. Fast, frantic and beat driven. Whilst ‘Post Humans’ combines thumping 909 and 303 into an acid hallucination."