London's Total was the largely solo side project of Skullflower and Sunroof! leader Matthew Bower, who generally used it as a vehicle for his multi-instrumental talents and as a free-form, ambient counterpoint to the scabrous noise assault of his other ventures. Oddly, Total actually predated Skullflower by five years, having grown out of Bower's previous band, Pure, in 1982. Although they didn't record much, Total's mid-'80s lineup included several musicians -- among them guitarist Stefan Jaworzyn and bassist Alex Binnie -- who would later form the early core of Skullflower. Their early era was chronicled on the cassette-only release 84-87, on Anomalous Records. When Skullflower became Bower's primary band project in 1987, he kept the Total name for his solo work, but didn't do much with it until 1993, when he issued the entirely solo Beyond the Rim on Majora Records. Featuring Bower on guitar, piano, bass, found sounds, and other instruments, it set the tone for much of Total's catalog, including the double-LP follow-up, Here, Time Is Space. Freek's 1994 release Sky Blue Void, however, was a much noisier outing featuring several of Bower's Skullflower cohorts -- reed player John Godbert, keyboardist Simon Wickham-Smith, and guitarist Russell Smith; Bower himself even played the vacuum cleaner on one track.