Underworld – Beaucoup Fish

UnderworldSo back before the millenium, what else was I listening to? Well Underworld’s Beaucoup Fish had just been released. Of course everybody knew Underworld beacause of the brilliant Born Slippy remix that was on the Trainspotting soundtrack a few years earlier. The logical thing to do would be to record an album full of pounding, techno anthems. But with the Chemical Brothers busy doing that, Underworld were free to do something a bit more experimental. They had never done the simple thing on their previous couple of albums (1993’s Dubnobasswithmyheadman and 1996’s Second Toughest in the Infants); both had tracks that pushed to 15, 16 minutes. They melded dub, techno and electronica and made something new out of all of them, and this theme continued with Beaucoup Fish.

Opening track “Cups” is a long, hypnotic track that surpised me when it broke into a trance-esque beat. It segues into one of the shorter tracks on the album “Push Upstairs”, a fizzy techno-pounder complete with Karl Hyde’s oblique lyrics. “King Of Snake” starts off with a wonky keyboard sound before turning into harsh beat. It’s all pretty enigmatic stuff, the lyrics don’t seem to mean much but the music’s mostly engaging.  It doesn’t always work, “Winjer” and “Skymer” both drone for a bit without really doing much. “Something Like A Mama” is better with it’s  scatter shot beat and swirling melody.

Frankly this album is mostly filler compared to one of my all time favourite tracks, “Jumbo”. It starts off easily enough, with chiming chords and a squelchy beat, but soon a glorious synth line opens up and it’s like the dawning of a brand new Summer’s day. It just has this incredible warm feeling that just envelopes the whole track. It is easily the best track on the album by a mile and that’s a shame, because quite a few of the other tracks leave me cold; there’s just not the same emotional connection with these tracks that I get from “Jumbo”.

Underworld – Jumbo:

 

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  1. I see what you mean about the warm feeling. At the start I wasn’t impressed but the “glorious synth line” really makes it a wonderful song.

  2. It’s just a great one to drive on a sunny day, it’s a great Summer song.




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