One of my main musical 'discoveries' in 2022 was British electronic band Underworld.

I’m super late to the party. Underworld’s commercial high point was the mid nineties. And I was certainly aware of them then: the use of “Born Slippy .NUXX in 1996’s Trainspotting soundtrack was ubiquitous, but it didn’t grab me.

6Music Festival performance 2016

In more recent years my colleague and friend Andrew Dinn (with whom I enjoyed many pre-pandemic conversations about music) enthusiastically advocated for Underworld (and furnished me with some rarities). This started to get them under my skin.

It took a bit longer for me to truly get them, though, and the final straw was revisiting their BBC 6 Music Festival performance from 2016 (with “Rez” and it's companion piece "Cowgirl" standing out)

Underworld records

So where to start? There’s something compelling about their whole catalogue. This is a group with which you can go deep, if you wish. The only album which hasn’t grabbed me is “100 days off” and it’s probably only a matter of time before it does (Andrew advocates the Extended Ansum Edition bootleg here). Here are four career-spanning personal highlights:

  • Spikee

  • King of snake

  • Nylon strung

  • Seven music drone

A very reasonable entry point to their latest sprawling effort, DRIFT, is ricksdubbedoutdrift experience (live in Amsterdam), only £3 on Bandcamp.