Famed 1995 smash ‘Born Slippy’ may have seemed a singular calling card, but its brutal techno beats, fleeting chordal swells and Karl Hyde’s agitated torrent-of-consciousness remains a loose template for Underworld’s best work into their seventh album. ‘I Exhale’ is a gut-punch of industrial big-beat, while ‘If Rah’ slowly guides a dancehall wobble to its housey crescendo. A portentous feel pervades ‘Low Burn’, set to a deep, pulsing drone that also overcasts the meditative string pickings on instrumental ‘Santiago Cuatro’; while Hyde’s simple melody on ambient counterpart ‘Motorhome’ dissolves into a swarm of tinny electronics. That Barbara Barbara… then thins out to a cheerier electro-pop vibe suggests a little angst amid the euphoria is what gives Underworld the edge.
Live: Roundhouse – March 24th & 25th (sold out)