Underworld: 19.11.2019

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

This time, the journey begins with a minimalist, hypnotic small hours techno glide (Appleshine), heads out past the emerging shoots of a spring green pastoral England (Molehill); onwards and upwards with 15 minutes of deep and occasionally discomfiting analogue machine music (Threat of Rain), down the tarmac of Europe endless all through the night (Brussels); crossing continents to wake up at a prismatic electro-carnival in the heart of New Orleans (Soniamode) before finally stretching out into mesmerising 47 minute long head trip that returns to the beginning of the journey (Appleshine Continuum recorded with Australian trio The Necks).

It is unpredictable and uncompromising. It’s uniquely Underworld. Listen and watch below…

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.

If you like Beautiful Burnout, Cool Kids of Death, Cups, Dark Train then Appleshine is for you. 

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.

If you like Glam Bucket, Caliban’s Dream, Moon in Water, Second Hand then Molehill is for you. 

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.

If you like Cherry Pie, Dinosaur Adventure 3D , Kittens, Rez then Threat of Rain is for you.

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

If you like Why Why Why, Spoonman, Bird 1, Oich Oich then Brussels is for you. 

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

If you like Holding the Moth, Hamburg Hotel, Crocodile, Luetin then Soniamode is for you. 

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…

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