Techno as bright and brilliant as midday sunlight, it’s wild detuned bass and discomfiting vocals. It’s the boom-boom of digital dub and it’s gorgeously evocative ambient music. It’s music for fields, music for tents and for headphones; music to lose yourself in and to.
Drift / Episode 4
Border Country is the second collaboration with friend of Underworld and DRIFT community member Ø [Phase] and the final part of DRIFT Episode 4. Lithe and restless, it edges and darts through unmapped spaces into a place where grimy nocturnal electronics are driven hard by fizzing hi hats and multiple voices ricochet in from the peripheries.
My relationship with Ashley a.k.a Ø [PHASE] began in Autumn 2017 when I first heard his Submerged Metropolitan release.. it’s not an exaggeration to say I immediately fell in love with his music. There was a sense of journey and mystery and magic to what I heard. Having worked with him for a little while we know he brings that same magic to the table every time, informed by his deep passion and understanding of the lineage of Techno and a thirst to learn and grow. A lovely talented man.” Rick
“I got a message from my label manager sometime in late 2017 titled ‘contact re Underworld’. Apparently the guys were keen to meet to “talk about some ideas”… ?!?! Within just a few weeks of first meeting we were in Rick’s studio drinking tea, talking together and working on ideas…Border Country came into being gradually, like a photograph coming softly into focus before sharpening into a crisp image, maturing into its final form.” Ashley Burchett aka Ø [Phase]
“We’ve been performing Border Country live since November 2018 and though it had never been released we’ve seen how it instantly connects with audiences everywhere we play.” Karl
If you like… Low Burn, Dexters Chalk, Dinosaur Adventure 3D… then Border Country belongs to you.
Electric chocolate Spacedub oozes along dirt roads at night on the outskirts of Mexico City, where a woman runs a kiosk made from an old truck cab at the gateway to a patch of dirt, and piles of old tyres sleep in the pale light of an all-you-can-eat diner… Altitude Dub rides a groove that glides, snakes, super-quakes along an eight-minute depth charge of a journey that finds Underworld in fully expansive, visionary form with a fusion of digital dub, Japanese freeform noise rock and the fevered intertwining of sax and violin.
“The track was conceived in my hotel room in Toluca, Mexico. It was one of those rare occasions where we had enough space and time, to talk, record and write together. On this particular day our conversation was inspired by a lifelong love of dub, and two talented German guys called Basic Channel who were making dub electronics in the early 90’s.” (Rick)
“The lyric for Altitude Dub came from a period in my life when it felt like I’d reached an impasse, and had to question my thinking as, once again, I set out to navigate the unpredictable seas of relationship mood swings” (Karl)
Altitude Dub features Ichirou Agata from Melt-Banana on electric atmosphere guitar, Lewis Evans from Black Country, New Road on saxophone and Georgia Ellery from Black Country, New Road/Jockstrap on violin.
If you like… River of Bass, Song of Life (Lemon Interupt Mix), Sola Sistim... then Altitude Dub belongs to you. More on the ambientballadsandelectronicfolkman playlist
Originally recorded specially for Manchester International Festival 2017’s Manchester Street Poem – a live installation telling the stories of people who find themselves homeless in the city – Doris is one part of the hour-long Manchester Street Poem installation Score and a reflective moment and reminder to look out for one another; it sounds as if a piece of Japanese environmental music has been reimagined as the soundtrack to sunrise over the rain soaked pavements of a Northern industrial town as it shakes itself awake.
Now available for the first time, the whole score, including Doris can be purchased here. Proceeds from its sale will be used to help run the ongoing Manchester Street Poem project, which strives to give voice to those with lived experience of homelessness.
This year Manchester Street Poem returns in a new incarnation to the very heart of the Festival, with a daily-changing exhibition in Festival Square. Billboard-sized artworks will be created each day at a temporary city centre workshop by Karl Hyde and the Manchester Street Poem team.
If you like… Most ‘Ospitable, Cuddle Bunny vs Celtic Villages, Shudder, Bungalow With Stairs… then Doris belongs to you.
Woozy, low-slung, detuned, twanging, questing, nagging, dissonant, dreaming… Hundred Weight Hammer is a pure disorientation groove.
Hundred Weight Hammer’s brilliantly weird urban voodoo visual was created by tomato’s Simon Taylor. “I made the masks in the studio with my assistant Leina. The performers are actors, dancers and architects. What was really interesting to see was how they each chose and inhabited their own masks, then brought them to life. These inanimate objects suddenly became human.”
Hundred Weight Hammer features Tyler from Black Country New Road on bass.
If you like Bruce Lee, Ring Road, Peggy Sussed, Boy Boy Boy… then Hundred Weight Hammer belongs to you.
A mesmerising murmur of a bass groove, an electronic riff that cuts through like a crack of light and a vocal that serves to spin you further into a hypnotic state. Schiphol Test is each of those things, in perfect harmony, and a whole lot more. Push. Push. Push. Push. Push. Push. Push. Push. Moving On.
“Rick started this on his iPad, waiting for a flight out of Schiphol airport. The second I heard those first opening bars of bass line and chords and groove I became fixated with finding a response with words that was as equally stripped and succulent” – Karl
If you like… Always Loved a Film, Cups, Low Burn, Mo Move… then Schiphol Test belongs to you.
Two people helping each other forever…
A new DRIFT begins with just over five and a half minutes of superlative sunset techno; a lucid dream built around an insistent analogue riff and a rush of pure positivity.
“Loved the music the minute Rick played it to me, and couldn’t wait to get it home to start singing on it. To my first pass at a vocal Rick said, “Try another one”, weirdly identical to his response to the vocal we didn’t use for Two Months Off” – Karl
If you like… Two Months Off, Scribble, Jumbo… then Listen To Their No belongs to you. Stream more on the bigroombangersandstadiumtechnoman playlist