Head Out Of Gutter, You!!!! This is what I mean.
This video introduced me to Underworld. It was a strange time. In 1994 grunge was in full swing, and then Kurt Cobain died. The Beatles (minus John) secretly got together to record tracks over an unfinished song by Lennon, and then released it. Britpop truly crossed the ocean with Blur’s ‘Parklife’ leading the way (…you can probably argue with me here, but that’s how it was from my perspective). Weezer was born. Woodstock came back. New Kids on the Block broke up.
And then there was Underworld: a strange blend of chill electronic, male vocals more akin to a rock band, and surreal lyrics. The album title said it all, ‘Dubnobasswithmyheadman.’ (Note: my favourite album of all time has the same titlestructure, ‘Vivadixiesubmarinetransmissionplot‘)
This song changed music for me. It was a droning dance tune that ran four minutes long and had a melody that sounded like it was sung to track…as opposed to sung once, sampled, and repeated. I imagined these guys on stage with a band, a computer, a synth, and a microphone…rather than two decks and a pyro show.
Sure, Gary Numan had stood on stage and played synth music that could pass for a rock song (and sometimes was!)
But Underworld smashed two worlds together for me and remained unique at the same time…it didn’t sound as much like they were taking parts of rock and parts of electronic and blending…it was like they had created a whole new sound by themselves.
I guess they did smash two worlds together…and then dragged them kicking and screaming underground. Maybe that’s how they got their name.