Julian Cope presents Head Heritage

Underworld
dubnobasswithmyheadman


Released 1993 on juniorboysown
Reviewed by Moon Cat, 29/11/2001ce


How many albums can you say honestly, truly changed the way you listen to music...in effect...changed your life?

On reflection its probably not many. And that should be so. That's what makes certain tunes or albums special. The ones that really, truly make the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end are like golddust. Special like nothin else.
Thank you Karl Hyde, Rick Smith, Darren Emerson
In 1993 I was more or less a total guitar band head, with a few exceptions. By guitar band that at least stretched from the indiest of the indie, the rockiest of the rock, gothiest of the goth, proggiest...you get the picture.
But I was slowly waking up to the new possiblities of dance music. 'Tis fair to say that up to a point that my exposure to dance stuff had been pretty much limited to the fairly cheesy sounds of late 80's ear;y 90's chart stuff...and I was not impressed. But I was absolutely hooked on the indie-dance groove as dished out by Happy Mondays and The Stone Roses and a myriad Madchester bands, especially as having move to Manc in 89. And thankfully, friends had exposed me to the delights of such acts as Orbital and The Orb and a few of the more underground artists of the day. And yes...I liked it...big time. But I still needed a Road to Damascus kind of event. (BTW...soz for the indulgence here but I want to make you understand WHAT HAPPENED NEXT!)

I got my Damascus big time....and Christ was on crutches.

Melody Maker ran a feature on what they termed were gonna be a huge indie-dance crossover thing. Underworld they were called. Hmm I thought skeptically. But then...in a club in town I heard "MMMMMM Syscraper I love you" for the first time. And my brains were mashed against glass....but in a sexy way

Truly "dubnobasswithmyheadman" the debut Undworld "dance" album (They had made two pretty terrible funk rock albums under the underworld tag in the late 80's....I bought one -underneath the radar- for 50p out of curiosity years later....it's pants)....it blew my face clean off. The basslines...the rythmns...the groove...the cutn n' paste lyrical screw ups of singer/guitarist/programmer Karl Hyde- This album bought so much joy to my life it hurts. THIS WAS THE ONE!
I had never heard such eldritch dance concoctions as the aforementioned "...skyscraper...." "Dark and Long" the almighty "Cowgirl"...."Dirty Epic"..plus also the lilting ambience of "Surfboy" and the deep deep cyber-trench of comfort that is "River of Bass!" Dub...dance....guitars...trance...all of it here...but not in a purposely eclectic mish mash of token indie-dance gestures. This is dance music/electronica at its deepest and grooviest.....the dark grooves of the E come down and trek back in the rain. "Here comes Christ on crutches" they said...and yup...there he was....locked into a bassifixtion coming down with a mars bar from the 24 hour garage.

THIS WAS THE ONE! This album changed everything for me. It literally opened up a whole new world of music that I might have turned away from and sniffed at with an indie-snobs blinkers on
I adore Underworld...yet to make a duff album as far as I'm concerned ....and Born Slippy is far from their best track!!!

I apologise if this review (such as it is) seems more about what the album did for me than what it could do for you....but what can I say...I was there..and it did. And I'd dearly like you to join in.

"Here comes another God!"


Reviews Index