Underworld: Drift Series One: Sampler Edition review – a year’s worth of inspiration

(Caroline)

In the last century, when buying music used to necessitate a physical product, John Peel favourites the Wedding Present once pulled off the seemingly incredible feat of releasing a single a month for a year. The advent of streaming and downloading has rather raised the ante: Underworld have been releasing a song a week for the past year, and these are now collated in a seven-CD box set, with this standalone disc acting as an overview of the project.

The endeavour has clearly proved liberating, and prompted a renewed sense of creativity: after all, if one week’s effort fails to hit the mark, there’s not long to wait for it to be rectified by the next instalment. While considerations of space dictate that the sampler doesn’t include some of the most expansive cuts(the wonderfully sprawling Appleshine Continuum, a 34-minute collaboration with experimental jazz trio the Necks, is particularly ambitious), there is still plenty of boundary-pushing going on, from the propulsive Border Country to the atmospheric ambience of Brilliant Yes That Would Be. The standout is the dazzling STAR (Rebel Tech), in which Karl Hyde reimagines Janet and Allan Ahlberg’s children’s classic Each Peach Pear Plum via a rapid-fire stream of consciousness that replaces Mother Goose, Bo Peep et al with political heroes and popular cultural mainstays including David Beckham, the Dalai Lama and Dr Dre.

Watch the video for Listen to Their No by Underworld.

Contributor

Phil Mongredien

The GuardianTramp

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