It's just that, in classic Underworld tradition, they're about to raise the bar a notch with regard to their own output. From November 2nd 2005 Underworld issued 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?"
The band is busier than ever. 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.
"The idea is to give us the chance to stretch out into areas we have only been able to touch on with traditional album releases, and give you the listener an underworld experience over the time it takes to listen to one side of an old vinyl album. Another aim of changing things to this more immediate format is to give us the chance to respond to what's happening musically out there in the world and put an underworld spin on things more than once every three years. None of this spells the end of traditional albums, remixes, tours, gigs it's just a way of getting music to you without the help of a multinational everytime we feel inspired. Expect to see underworld in the charts, on the radio, in the press and in your town again but in the meantime fill you're boots at underworldlive.com"
- Rick & Karl (2nd November 2005)
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November 11, 2005 at 7:11 PM CET