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Underworld
Barking - Cooking Vinyl
FILTER Grade: 83%

By Ken Scrudato on September 14, 2010

 

Underworld

If growing up was something of an abstract concept to the punk generation, adulthood really did a deer-in-the-headlights job on those poor E’d out ravers. And sure as “Gimme Shelter” was a requiem for all that ’60s hippy optimism, Underworld’s “Born Slippy” poignantly soundtracked rave’s hollow, gurned-up hangover. Curiously, where Underworld was once a dark foil to what was generally a culture of peace, love and hedonism, in these grim times, “Barking” is a relatively upper’s affair, and something of a techno’s-greatest-bits. To wit, “Scribble” throws a euphoric drum and bass beat under a shimmering Kraftwerk pop sensibility, while the infectiously blithe “Moon in Water” is sublime, classic synth pop. The most striking track, “Between Stars,” neatly builds from minimalism into a full blown (albeit mid-tempo) trance anthem. Oh, and as for the growing-up bit, where Karl Hyde once deadpanned, “squatting pissed in a tube-hole,” he now exuberantly queries, “Heaven, can you feel it?” And as a matter of fact, yes, we can—sometimes, these days, even without the drugs.

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