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.
Drift / Series 1
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
Episode 3 Sleeve notes
A mesmerizing drift into springtime; a journey across miles of open sands into tight city streets where neon blurs past the windscreen as night turns to day, this HEART beats to the sound of gorgeous hyperspace soul, metropolitan electro, scratched up ghostly radio transmissions and rumbling ultra heavy percussive techno.
Alice in the underground – Absolem in metamorphosis
A low string breathing; frenetic squalls, auric vibrations, a storm coming up from the South whispered close to an ear, ghost tracks rumbling through dusty underground stations carry us eventually out into summer sunlight.
All the while, the Poet Cat stalks the periphery.
(Featuring the violin and saxophone of Georgia Ellery and Lewis Evans of Jockstrap and Black Country, New Road)
If you like… Tongue, Santiago, Sandman (I’ll Be There), Molehill… then Poet Cat belongs to you.
“Did you wake up in the place you wanted?… or are you missing something?”
Wake up to a galloping rhythm track and the rumble of percussion that sounds like the stars exploding overhead; drums as peals of thunder, as portents, as liberation and elevation.
This is the best place.
“Do you wanna buy my car?”
An electragliding city groove built on a sun-bleached low-rise bassline; the sound of a teeming high altitude metropolis heard from an open car window…
“La Dusseldorf’s unwritten love letter to Essex, podium dancers, solorised cities, markers by the side of the road as the migrant sons & daughters of Wales come home” – (Karl)
If you like… Mo Move, Soniamode, Dark & Long (Dark Train), Cool Kids of Death (Underworld Mix), Air Towel, Cups (Salt City Orchestra Vertical Bacon Vocal Mix), Beautiful Burnout…then This Must Be Drum Street belongs to you.
“From the gutter to the stars, you look up into the pale light of an underground train…”
Custard Speedtalk is here; Spring has arrived.
The DRIFT Series continues tonight with Dune – a hyperspace soul song and a beautifully horizontal slice of life observation that eavesdrops on quiet lives lived in a place where, “they’re digging up the roads, making houses, not roads to join them together”.
Every morning I heard her singing in the shower, oblivious to the world, totally lost in some happy place she never seemed to find anywhere else… – Karl
Dune is also available to stream and download everywhere, right now…
Episode 2 Sleeve notes
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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…
Kicking-off with their feet firmly in their world of live dance music, Another Silent Way is uniquely and unmistakably Underworld, all thunderous drums, relentless acid lines and cyclone vocals, soundtracking a film made in collaboration with the UK drift racing community and Tomato and shot entirely at the Rockingham Speedway in Corby in summer 2018.
Low Between Zebras (featuring the voice of Matthew Trevannion), is Episode 1 Part 3 of Underworld’s DRIFT Series. The film, by Underworld and Mollie Gallagher, draws inspiration from stories gathered through the Manchester Street Poem project in 2017 and its release coincided with Rick & Karl’s participation in a new MSP installation at the International Arts & Homelessness Festival.
The original brief for the film was inspired by a story I heard from a lady who had begged on the street and how she had watched the world every day from low down to the ground. How legs & feet moving around & past her, always ‘going somewhere’, reinforced her own feelings of going nowhere. Karl Hyde
Low Between Zebras is Underworld for the other small hours – for those quiet times when the dawn breaks and the road seems endlessly inviting.
Arriving on a minimalist electronic glide, Universe of Can When Back builds from a restless lyrical drift to a hypnotic call to action that’s ushered in over unexpected sparks of unhinged saxophone (played by Lewis Evans).
The new film that accompanies it, by tomato’s Simon Taylor, uses clips of Karl Hyde writing furiously in his daily process of gathering words for Underworld, mixed with images shot while on a road trip in Tokyo.
A Very Silent Way is Ep. 1, Pt. 5 of Underworld’s DRIFT Series. The track improvised in collaboration with The Necks soundtracks a film by tomato’s Simon Taylor using film and stills shot during a two-day recording session at AIR Lyndhurst Hall earlier this year.
Karl and I spent two glorious days with The Necks at AIR studios in London exploring long improvisations based on our music for Drift and I had the time of my life with these incredibly talented, beautiful people. This initial release represents just a small part of that body of work. Rick