Here’s a confusing one. FUR started as a solo project by Denton, Texas artist and producer Bryce Isbell. Now Isbell makes experimental electronic music, that on paper (and in practice) is essentially dance music, or at least falls under the IDM moniker. But if you couldn’t be bothered getting off the couch then that’s fine. You see FUR’s sound is murky, atmospheric and a little bit sedentary.
We might be slow on uptake here but the first we heard of FUR was the Black Castles EP, with the superb title-track, that features on – wait for it – Isbell’s 52nd, yes, 52nd full length record; and he’s only 22. Sufjan must be spitting.
Just to be sure we verified this with the man himself, “that is in fact true. You can find various albums online if you look, i.e.; The Downstairs Room, The Journey of Dian Cecht, Lake Shore Drive, and the Violent White Nightingale (while these albums have electronic elements there are also lots of live instrumentation, which is something I’ve abandoned since then.)”
‘Black Castles’ was released in late 2009 and is a down-tempo synth piece with nuances of dubstep, albeit with a distinctly US interpretation, featuring Neon Indian‘s Alan Palomo.
Admittedly the first 51 FUR albums were self-released but that doesn’t make him any less prolific. Album number 52 from FUR is Witches, released on Waaga Records, and it is a collection of samples, digital beats and electronic loops with an ambient leaning that found Isbell bracketed in with the whole chillwave movement going on State-side.
Now, Isbell appears to be as versatile as he is prolific. On a more recent collaboration he teamed up with Michigan’s Coyote Clean Up to release the Lackadaisical EP, available for free here, described by Seven Noises as ‘dub-house-disco-shoegaze’. You know what, that pretty much fits the bill.
Where as ‘Clears Throat’ is dreamy and infectious and with a French house flavour.
Since then a chap called Gray St. Germain Gideon has come on board, Isbell told us “he joined FUR recently (since the Lackadaisical EP was released). He is now an official member of FUR and you’ll find his first contribution with me for the project on the upcoming ep (due to be released summer on Waaga).”
We’ve only known Isbell for a short while and already there’s some catching up to do. Quickly though, because there’s likely to be a lot more to come.