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Underworld (band)

Underworld is the name of an electronic band popular during the 1990s. It emerged from the ashes of the electropop group Freur[?] in the early 1980s, ventured briefly into electro-rock-funk in the late 1980s, and has produced danceable electronic music since then.

Probably best known for their 1996 hit "Born Slippy", featured in the movie Trainspotting, Underworld is comprised of Karl Hyde[?], Rick Smith[?] and, up until 2001, DJ Darren Emerson. The duo were also known by the names Lemon Interrupt[?] and Stepin' Razor[?] before joining with Darren for the first time, when they remixed such varying acts as Shakespeare's Sister, St Etienne and Simply Red.

The addition of Emerson completed Underworld's dance/rock fusion and seemed to moderate some of hardfloor[?] elements in the original duo's work. Their first album, dubnobasswithmyheadman[?], was considered more accessible than the group's earlier material and crossed a large spectrum of dance music. The signature Hyde lyrics were in place: poetic, hypnotic and whispered; mixing conventional songwriting with the use of found material[?] from overheard conversations, answerphone recordings and the like. Hyde had been the lead singer in Underworld Mk. I but the original Hyde/Smith dance material was lyric free as was most of the electronic music emerging from the aftermath of Acid House.

After the release of Beaucoup Fish[?] Hyde declared in his interviews that he had sorted out earlier problems with alcoholism but all the members admitted that the sessions had been fraught problems, with the individual members working in their own studios and only communicating via mixes of the raw material passed back and forth on DAT. After the release of the album a large number of mixes of the album tracks seemed to surface on singles, magazine promotional CDs and similar ephemeral formats perhaps indicating the number of revisions the tracks had gone through to get to point where they were acceptable to all three.

Despite these problems, Underworld embarked on a spirited and well-received tour which resulted in a live CD and DVD drawn from several dates on the tour. Called Everything, everything[?], the project was said to capture the live Underworld very faithfully.

After the release and promotion of Everything, everything Emerson decide to leave Underworld to focus on his solo projects and record label. Hyde and Smith decided to continue, once again, as a duo. They dubbed the project Underworld Mk. III and recorded a new album, A Hundred Days Off[?], which was released to general approval.

This band has been regarded by some as one of the pioneers of the modern electronic movement.


As Freur:

  • Doot Doot
  • Get Us Out Of Here

As Underworld (mark I, funk rock):

  • Underneath The Radar
  • Change The Weather

As Underworld (mark II, electronic):

  • Dubnobasswithmyheadman
  • Second Toughest In The Infants
  • Beacoup Fish
  • Everything, Everything (live)
  • A Hundred Days Off

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