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Go BackBETTER THAN NEVER! Underworld released their first new material in 2 years.

Posted: 10/11/05 13:16

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Underworld released their first new material in 2 years, but for the first time they are releasing download only ‘packages’ available exclusively from: 

In an ever-changing world it’s nice to know that some things remain constant, and after three years away - cue fanfare Underworld are back, and, as ever, pushing the boundaries.

Not that the band have been in any way idle since the 2002 release of the globe-toppling ‘A Hundred Days Off’. On the contrary: a quick rummage through Karl and Rick’s diaries reveals all manner of surreal adventures, from Karl’s recent graphic novel to an on-going collaboration with a certain sonic futurist, to a soon come film score to Oscar-winning director Anthony Minghella’s next flick Breaking And Entering. It’s just that, in classic Underworld tradition, they’re about to raise the bar a notch with regard to their own output.

So here’s the deal. Taking time out from the corporate waltz which forces bands into a Groundhog Day style loop of recording and touring, Underworld plan to swerve standard procedure and release their latest music directly to you, whenever and wherever you want it. The reasons for this are manifold, modern times where most of us are downloading daily, an industry where CD albums feel more like marketing tools rather than opportunities for musical exploration, and most importantly the desire to add new fresh sounds to the massive Underworld jukebox of anthems.

Consequently, from November 2nd 2005 Underworld will issue a series of download-only listening experiences which are neither singles nor albums, but an entirely new way to hear their music. Featuring a series of interwoven pieces it’s an opportunity for the band to venture into whichever direction they like and take listeners on a trip they’ll never forget.

Starting with an eerie electronic throb, `a lovely broken thing´ morphs into a hypnotic bleep odyssey during which we get barely audible snippets of conversation (“When I was in New York she said”/”Get your legs waxed!”) technicolour flashes of glam techno and blitzkrieg sub-bass, all laced with sub-aquatic shuffles, the sound of heavy rainfall and one soporific passage which sounds like a lullaby by Kraftwerk. Aficionado’s will hear aural nods to the overheard conversations of Karl’s print project  ‘In The Belly Of St. Paul’ but the overall effect feels more like a dazzling, disorientating moodscape to match the disconnected ambience of ‘Lost In Translation’. Think of it as putting the synth into absinthe. By the end, the stormclouds finally break and suddenly we‘re in the elevator to heaven, Karl beatifically crooning: “You smell good/ Touching skin to skin/Familiar/This is me/Where are we?” 

Anyone looking for a definition of the meaning of psychedelia in the twenty-first century should reach for their ipod now. It’s as hallucinogenic as an acid trip and one of the most stunning pieces of music you’ll hear this year. But hey, we’re gushing. Even better, there’s already second instalment recorded (an electronic dub excursion - but we’ll get to that later).

So, a new way of listening to music from dance music’s most innovative, cerebral and experimental group. A genre-busting set of recordings for the only group on the planet who can namecheck Prince, PiL and Phillip Glass as influences. And all yours for just a fiver. 

Catch Underworld in the speakers !!!
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Words by Bubbling Under