Underworld are a progressive house group. They evolved out of synthpop group Freur. They're probably best known for "Born Slippy .NUXX", used prominently in the film Trainspotting.
Their style typically involves a combination of four-to-the-floor house beat, Giorgio Moroder esque bassline, and stream-of-consciousness vocals, often based on snippets of overheard conversation. The result is often pretty hypnotic and dreamlike, but usually far too upbeat and prominent to be ambient.
They're clearly proponents of the composting method of remixing one track into another quite different work, and are happy to chop up a vocal into short, meaningless snippets to be transplanted elsewhere. Several of their songs evolved into quite different other songs, with the source and target both being good in their own right. For example, "Dirty" and "Dirty Guitar" led to "Dirty Epic", while "Can You Feel Me?" got repurposed into "M.E."'s intro.
Appropriately, vocalist Karl Hyde enjoys hearing people's interpretations and mishearings of his lyrics. As with much art, ambiguity is a feature.
- ARP 2600
- Akai MPC2000
- Akai S3200XL ("I use this a lot. Very important.")
- Casio FZ-1 ("Our oldest sampler. It goes on once a year.")
- Roland Juno-106
- Roland TR-909 (×3)
- Roland VP-330 (×3; first bought from Ultravox)
- ST Speech
- TSL Stepper Acid ("It's designed and built by these two female electronic musicians, and it's a fantastic little box.")
- Yamaha DX7 ("The DX7 is my oldest and favourite synth. I have a set of sounds that I've programmed and that seem to work consistently.")
- Yamaha SPX90 (×2)
- Dubnobasswithmyheadman, 1994
- Second Toughest in the Infants, 1996
- Beaucoup Fish, 1999
- "Karl Hyde Talks 'Cowgirl'" Underworld, Feb 2021
- "Underworld: The Making of Everything, Everything" Paul Tingen, Sound On Sound, Dec 2000
- "Rick Talks 'Rez'" Underworld, Nov 2020
- "Underworld Interview" Roland
- "Can you hold me in your dreams? Can you feel me like I feel you? Goodbye, Mother Earth." "M.E." Underworld, Dubnobasswithmyheadman, 1993
- "4,120 Words About Underworld" Push, Electronic Sound, May 2018, p. 41
Artists: Aphex Twin | Autechre | Derrick May | Fatboy Slim | Juan Atkins | Kevin Saunderson | LFO (artist) | Man Machine | Moby | Nine Inch Nails | Orbital | Richie Hawtin | The Future Sound of London | The Prodigy | Underworld | Wendy Carlos | William Orbit