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

Diana Krall: Quiet Nights (Verve/Universal)

Diana Krall: Quiet Nights (Verve/Universal)

Popular though she might be, Canadian Krall (interview here) has been considered something of a lightweight jazz chanteuse and it has perhaps only been live when her piano playing comes into its... > Read more

THE YOUNG LIONS OF JAZZ (1994): Tomorrow is the question

THE YOUNG LIONS OF JAZZ (1994): Tomorrow is the question

If rock is the culture which eats its young -- or at least allows Kurt Cobain to leave a suicide note which says “I need to be slightly numb in order to regain the enthusiasm I once had as... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Liam Finn

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Liam Finn

When people in your family -- in this case your dad and uncle -- are famous musicians your road can actually be harder than most might think: just after a couple of Lennon kids. Liam Finn... > Read more

Various: The Roots of Led Zeppelin (Proper/Southbound)

Various: The Roots of Led Zeppelin (Proper/Southbound)

To some small but much lesser degree we've been down this path before with the DVD Down the Tracks: The Roots of Led Zeppelin recently posted here. But as noted, that was interesting enough but... > Read more