Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Underworld - Everything, Everything (2000)

‘Imagine Bowie working with Kraftwerk – not in the past, but round about now’ was how Underworld was pitched to me in the late 90s by a fan who was trying to get me to see beyond ‘Born Slippy’s breakthrough on the Trainspotting soundtrack.  So imagine I did – sleek, precise electronica that still feels organic, still gets played live by human beings; and a cut-up surrealist, darkly poetic stream of consciousness over the top – pretty much on the nose for summing up Underworld in this purple patch of their career, which regrettably didn’t entirely survive the departure of DJ/producer/programmer Darren Emerson shortly afterwards.

But this phase of Underworld definitely ended in style – witness this brilliant live document of a May 1999 performance in Brussels.  Karl Hyde’s electrifying presence as frontman is very much in evidence, and all the songs sound great, with an extra freshness from being performed live; the only minor tradeoff being a slight loss of some of the subtleties of the studio albums.  Jumbo, from 1999’s Beaucoup Fish, is my favourite here, possibly as it’s the most understated track, and thus gets more room to breathe.  The concert movie that was released shortly afterwards adds a few more tracks, and shows even more plainly what a great live band Underworld are.  In a note from the CD sleeve that just dates it perfectly, the concert was to be ‘available on DVD and VHS in October 2000’.

Walking in the wind at the waters edge comes close to covering my rubber feet

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