Underworld are an institution.
For a quarter of a century Karl Hyde and Rick Smith have been the bigwigs of dance music. The former rockers explored a few dead ends before hooking up with DJ and producer Darren Emerson in 1992 (he left again in 1999) and taking off as a reinvented stadium house act.
In 1996, the group hit its peak after the crossover success of “Born Slippy .NUXX”, a euphoric club stomper initially wasted as a B-side, before being showcased in Danny Boyle’s epochal drug film Trainspotting. The perfect pairing of Underworld’s hard-charging, sublimely melodic beats with Karl Hyde’s raving stream-of-consciousness monotone, “Slippy” became iconic for its time.
Their previous two albums, Dubnobasswithmyheadman (1994) and Second Toughest in the Infants (1996), were spellbinding works that coherently skipped from cathartic dance-floor euphoria to ambient sonic wash to supreme downtempo chill (often within the same track).
Later, both members funneled their artistic energy into solo projects, Eno collaborations, film scores and soundtracking the 2012 London Olympics.
After a successful return in 2016, Underworld have put the wheels seriously into motion again. They did a collab with Iggy Pop in 2018 and has since started a so-called DRIFT series where they continuously release new music in chapters.
And now Underworld is ready to play at Roskilde Festival again, 25 years after their first visit here (want some old footage? Check this out!).
Their alien-like collision of techno, trance, house, dub and ambient influences is always a thing of the time. Impressive for a band that has been together for almost 40 years!
As documented on their 2000 live album, Everything Everything, Underworld’s specialty is unleashing a beat so constant and unending you lose all sense of time and place – and on that front they still deliver. True euphoria awaits at Roskilde Festival 2019!