the opposite of ‘normal’ or ‘usual practice’ (Karl Hyde)

Drift, Episode 2: ATOM

If DRIFT Episode 1: DUST was the spark and surge of a journey beginning, DRIFT Episode 2: ATOM explodes skywards before splitting off to explore multiple new paths.

DRIFT started as a journey with no fixed destination; an experiment and a very public investigation of new working processes by Underworld. On that journey, Karl and Rick stopped at a pig shed in Essex; Rockingham Speedway; a hotel room in Reykjavik; AIR studios and a series of tiny club shows in Amsterdam, Manchester and London. Each of those stop off points helped influence the creation of DRIFT Episode 1 & 2.

Sleeve Notes are a new addition to DRIFT in this episode… Rick and Karl in conversation and a bunch of other stuff from the past 6 weeks drifting through Episode 2…

DRIFT Ep 2, Pt 6: Appleshine Continuum

Episode 2 of Underworld’s DRIFT Series concludes with Appleshine Continuum – one of a series of collaborations between Underworld and Australian experimental trio The Necks. Recorded in a single take during two days of improvising at AIR Studios, Appleshine Continuum takes Underworld’s original version of Appleshine (Ep.2 Pt.1) as its starting point and quickly takes flight, only returning to Earth’s atmosphere after 47 mesmerising minutes…

DRIFT Ep 2, Pt 5: Soniamode

A voice chants with the innocent menace of a 50’s playground rhyme, carried along by the tumbling celebration of a brass band playing Glitch as it hot steps through the streets of New Orleans.

“Louisiana on my honeymoon in 1987. April Fools’ day in Essex 2015. Last Sunday in my studio. Last Monday Karl in his studio. Tuesday morning in my studio. Tuesday afternoon uploaded the track. Is this one finished…? No but it’s coming out anyway… I wonder if Sons Of Kemet would collaborate on a version with us? Have you ever watched Treme?” – Rick

Drift, Ep 2, Pt. 4: Brussels

Almost impossibly beautiful music pulled together from what should be incongruous parts. Europe’s endless motorways stretching into the night, broadcast live from Essex. Unpredictable, unique. Underworld.

“David Bowie’s LOW was the first record that made me realise that a singer can stand at the back as well as the front of the band. Rick was ahead of me in his vision for the dubnobasswithmyheadman album and he’s done it again with Brussels. Twenty-four hours before this release it was one of a pile of unfinished pieces ‘not’ scheduled to come out. Simon Taylor filmed his route home that evening as he travelled down the motorway – some of this footage inevitably found its way into the conversation. Working back and forth with sound and image is how we’re developing the DRIFT Series, Rick weaving and stitching grooves, melody and words together; drawing parts from disparate songs to create a piece of music that shocked me. Twenty four hours ago, this journey through the edge of night didn’t exist.”Karl

Drift, Ep 2, Pt. 3: Threat of Rain

This Thursday’s DRIFT release, Threat of Rain builds from a murky locked techno groove and a looped refrain of “I’m good, I’m good… I’m alright” into an orchestra of analogue noise that swells and surges and at times obliterates everything around it, which, with the accompanying film by Tomato’s Simon Taylor and Rick Smith, looks and sounds like a lost recording of a musique concrète symposium being broadcast from the DJ booth of the Omen.

Drift, Ep 2, Pt. 2: Mole Hill

Following last week’s Drift release (the hypnotic, small hours techno of Appleshine), Molehill is something of an unexpected gear change. A gleaming cascade of piano, guitar and wordless choral voices, based on a live recording Rick and Karl made together at their Essex studio. Molehill is a gorgeous spiral of a song to truly loose yourself inside.

Molehill is accompanied by a new film by Simon Taylor of Tomato, watch it below.

Drift, Ep 2, Pt. 1: Appleshine

DRIFT, Episode 2 opened with Appleshine (film edit) – a minimalist, hypnotic small hours glide; a techno pulse wound tightly around a daydream vocal that ultimately unfolds into an ambient coda (reminiscent of Rez) that seems to make the whole track – and the listener – levitate. It is beautifully, uniquely, undoubtedly Underworld.

Appleshine features a new film by Simon Taylor, and Georgia and Lewis from Black Country, New Road on violin and flute respectively. The intro of the track was originally published online when Underworld headlined the BBC Biggest Weekend in Belfast last year – this is the first time the full track has been made available.