• Friday 19 01:00 - 02:15

    Sónar by Night - SonarClub

Drifting with purpose

With Underworld, Rick Smith and Karl Hyde have gifted the world one of the most longlived and respected electronic acts of the past 30 years. In that time, the duo have played an important part in expanding techno’s reach out of the club and into living rooms, pubs, museums (and Olympic stadiums!), whilst doing nothing to water down their idiosyncratic, electronic sound. Their latest project, Drift, is a self defined “journey without a fixed destination” consisting of 5 EP’s (and possibly an album) to be released over the course of a year. The first of these, the 6 track “Dust”, was inspired by journeys to places as diverse as Iceland (where they played Sónar Reykjavik), Amsterdam, and a slaughterhouse in Essex, and features collaborations with Australian post-jazz outfit The Necks, and the english producer Ø [Phase]. More instalments are set to arrive before their show at SonarClub.

With their third album, 1994’s Dubnobasswithmyheadman, Underworld captured a unique moment in British club culture. Recorded in the comedown of the second summer of love, this was dance music with an introverted edge; the band’s looped vocals, tracked beats and distorted acid basslines conjured euphoria tinged with darkness - drawing from the harder edge of detroit techno as well as a very British sense of general malaise. Two years later the band would, almost unexpectedly, conquer the mainstream with the track Born Slippy making its way onto the Trainspotting soundtrack, and onward to post-britpop anthem status. Throughout the last decade Underworld have remained a potent cultural force, with well received records and collaborations with Brian Eno, John Hopkins and Iggy Pop; as well as being appointed musical directors of the 2012 London Olympics.