Famous Friends Help Underworld Finish New Album
For its first album in five years, pioneering electronica duo Underworld solicited advice from the likes of Brian Eno, U2 drummer Larry Mullen Jr. and longtime collaborator Darren Price to help sort tFor its first album in five years, pioneering electronica duo Underworld solicited advice from the likes of Brian Eno, U2 drummer Larry Mullen Jr. and longtime collaborator Darren Price to help sort through nearly 200 pieces of new music.
"These conversations inspired us," group member Karl Hyde tells Billboard.com of the October release "Oblivion With Bells," adding that a comment from Price helped turn live favorite "Crocodile" into the top-notch studio version the duo has previously been unable to nail. The cut is now a contender for the album's first single.
Hyde is particularly excited by tracks like the nearly nine-minute closer "Best Mamgu Ever," where "my voice pops out of it in the middle but then vanishes into lush electronics and conversations that are gated," as well as "Glam Bucket," which was intended for use as part of Underworld's score for the Danny Boyle film "Sunshine" but was reclaimed for "Oblivion With Bells."
Elsewhere, the angular "Ring Road" was inspired by a walk Hyde took around his hometown of Romford, England, "with a bitter eye around the time of the World Cup," while "Good Morning Cockerel" is "a very, very simple piece with just my voice and a number of layered pianos. It says something and it leaves, straightaway."
"This isn't the album we were looking at four weeks ago," he says of the set, a label for which has yet to be announced. "A couple of tracks made it in the last couple of days that were like, 'Wow! Wasn't expecting that!'"
Underworld will play new material from "Oblivion With Bells" during its 2007 tour, which played Lisbon tonight (July 5). As the trek progresses, the group will be refurbishing its Web site and offering a host of exclusives to its online fanbase.
The Web site will be absolutely central to the album," Hyde reports. "We will be selling concert recordings and films and continuing to give them away throughout the year. We'll also continue to do the Web radio broadcasts. We're hoping to do a Web TV broadcast from America with Quicktime, if it's at all possible."
Here is the track list for "Oblivion With Bells"
"Holding the Moth"
"Boy, Boy, Boy"
"Cuddle Bunny vs. The Celtic Villages"
"Good Morning Cockerel"
"Best Mamgu Ever"