Underworld Vs the Misterons: Athens (K7/Border)

 |   |  1 min read

Mahavishnu Orchestra: You Know You Know
Underworld Vs the Misterons: Athens (K7/Border)

This might not be what some would expect from the techno stars Underworld, but this excellent compilation serves a number of purposes outside of being fascinating in its own right.

It is a collection of some of their favouite tracks from the more meditative end of the musical spectrum so has a kind of neo-ambient, avant-jazz flavour, and also allows a new audience to hear for the first time Alice Coltrane, guitarist John McLaughlin's Mahavishnu Orchesta, early Roxy Music, Soft Machine, jazz bassist Miroslav Vitous and others.

And it will remind older heads what extraordinary music some of this (much of it from the Sixties and Seventies) is.

It opens with Alice Coltrane's gorgeous, Indian-influenced Journey to Satchidanada (turn off your mind, relax and float downsteam?), moves into one of the best and most considered pieces by the Mahavishnu Orchestra (You Know, You Know which finds them in an introspective mood, not flat-tack guitar pyrotechnics) then on to Squarepusher's slightly disco-funky Theme From Sprite.

After Soft Machine's slinky Penny Hitch, the pace picks up a little with Roxy Music's languid ballad 2HB (from their debut album, with Brian Eno) and slides into one of the album's finest pieces, Space Odyssey by Detroit Experiment which Carl Craig's jazz outfit.

There is low-level soul-funk from Moodyman on Rectify, wide-screen electro-beats by Osunlade on The Promise and Afrofunk from Laurent Garnier. 

Underworld themselves (Karl Hyde and Rick Smith) appear twice: with their own groove-oriented sax-coloured Oh, and Hyde with Eno on the jazz fusion-spoken word of Beebop Hurry.

So, a fascinating compilation on many levels: as a primer and history lesson; an insight into the secret life of Underworld; and a reminder that great music will always stand a re-hearing.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Jazz articles index

CHARLES LLOYD INTERVIEWED (2010): A forest flower in full bloom

CHARLES LLOYD INTERVIEWED (2010): A forest flower in full bloom

For exceptional people, we make an exception. And saxophonist Charles Lloyd is certainly exceptional. Not just because he enjoyed that rarity in jazz, a hit album (Forest Flower in 66 which... > Read more

Jonas Kullhammar Quartet: Lat Det Vara (moserobie.com)

Jonas Kullhammar Quartet: Lat Det Vara (moserobie.com)

I cannot tell a lie, I bought this for the cover when I spotted it in a record store in the old town of Stockholm . . . but am delighted I did. At the time I didn't even know it was a jazz... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . Z'EV: He bangs the drum, and then some

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . Z'EV: He bangs the drum, and then some

When a couple of writers from the then-recently launched Re/Search tabloid went to visit the experimental percussionist known as Z'EV in 1981, the conversation was esoteric and philosophical.... > Read more

ELVIS PRESLEY, UNVEILED BY ROBERT GORDON (2002): The King inside his fragile Kingdom

ELVIS PRESLEY, UNVEILED BY ROBERT GORDON (2002): The King inside his fragile Kingdom

The young man was very much in love, but uncertain whether she loved him any more. He had been in the American army in Germany for more than a year and she was home in Memphis. So he poured his... > Read more