Those talented two have done it again. With the release of “One Hundred Days Off”, Underworld has reinforced its reputation as one of the most influential artistic outfits of the electronic music world. The new effort is one hour of sheer music listening delight. And not just listening for that matter, for I can guarantee that whether you’re cranking this album in party surrounds, or over a cup of milky tea in your pyjamas on a rainy weekday afternoon, the frenetic bass lines and slow-building tech grooves will have you throwing your shimmying booty around your living room (better warn the neighbours).
Karl Hyde and Rick Smith employ the entire sound spectrum in order to build what are essentially ten completely diverse tracks. As ever, the common element in each is the pure layers of sound coupled with the syrupy golden lyrics of the vocally inspired Hyde. Opening the album is ‘Mo Move’, a whirring, rippling house effort that features the classic Underworld mix of pumping bass, frenetic drums, half a symphonic orchestra (show me an instrument Smith can’t play) and Hyde’s sweet, detached melodies gliding above it all. From here the album twists its way through the laid back, lounge-y delights of ‘Twist’ and the ambient slow groove of ‘Sola Sistim’, to the funked up sliding notes of ‘Trim’ – astonishingly, a cowboy-inspired track that doesn’t verge on the nasty side of spurred boots and ten gallon hats. The more frenzied tracks are balanced out nicely by a couple of chilled out pieces that gently ripple their way down to the base of your spine. Proving that even Underworld’s more mellow tracks are not of the sit-down-quietly variety, the crazed shimmying inspired by the earlier tracks was modified for these glorious floaty grooves to soaring arm movements and a strange rolling of the head (better close the blinds and lock your flatmates out).
Although each and every track is mesmerising in its own way, a definite highlight is the much-played (and deservedly so) club anthem “Two Months Off”, an absolute dinosaur of a track featuring a punching beat and the most uplifting, energising mix of strings, drums, cymbals, butter smooth vocal melodies and other twinkly bits and pieces that I have heard inside clubs this year. This little masterpiece will see even your old granny shaking her zimmer frame over her head in furious abandon. A good enough reason if any to add this stellar effort to your music collection.
- Published /
Sun / 22 Sep 2002
- Words /