You’ve probably experienced it yourself, first-hand. But where? At a gig? A festival? A Soho art gallery? Sitting on the tube, headphones blaring? Or locating a vein with Renton, Sick Boy, Begbie and Spud? The Underworld Experience comes in many forms. So to call the first fully fledged Underworld retrospective ‘Everything, Everything’… [I]phew[/I]. That’s some brief.
“For me, making any Underworld album isn’t a pleasant experience,” Rick Smith told [I]NME[/I] last month. The compiling of ‘Everything, Everything’ was no exception. For the last eight months, Rick has been picking through hours of audio and video footage captured on the two-year worldwide tour that Underworld undertook in support of the [I]tour de force[/I] that was ‘Beaucoup Fish’, and ‘Everything, Everything’ showcases the highlights – performances taken from the Fuji Festival in Japan and Coachella in California, to your very own sodden Glasto shindig.
vocal hook of ‘Cowgirl’ looms out of the whirling vortex of ‘Rez’, the crowd are cheering and you’re cheering with them, hairs on the back of your neck on end, as the album thunders towards its conclusion.
It’s been great; an unashamedly highbrow experimental art project that cackles wildly and hollers things like, “Lahverly! Top vibe!”; a serotonin-pumping, rave-monkey rush that raises its pint aloft and bellows “LagerLagerLager!” All things to all revellers, Underworld are absolutely, defiantly unique.
Inevitably, though, ‘Everything, Everything’ – a mere 75-minute audio document – fails to fulfil its ambitious pledge. No ‘Dark & Long’, no ‘Dirty Epic’, no ‘Moaner’, no ‘Bruce Lee’… in a world where so few bands deserve a ‘Best Of’, we’re craving a complete multimedia retrospective. This isn’t it. Perhaps the promised interactive DVD will offer a canvas broad enough to capture Underworld‘s vision in full. Let’s hope so. Because Underworld aren’t just a band. There are so many more places to go.
‘Everything, Everything’ is a postscript from the first – only? – 21st-century rock group that this nation’s produced to date. It’s the end of Underworld MkII: The Darren Emerson Years, and without their Essex-born deck wizard, Karl Hyde and Rick Smith are back to the core duo that’s lasted, to date, a staggering 17 years. They’re promising a complete overhaul of the Underworld experience, and, frankly, the quicker it dates ‘Everything, Everything’, the better. Pack your bags, this way to the new cutting edge.
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