The 12th edition of Rob da Bank’s annual four-day end-of-summer music marathon known as Bestival is now in the history books. Focusing on indie and dance music in a fairly intimate festival setting, Bestival presented big-name acts such as The Chemical Brothers and Underworld alongside newcomers like FKA Twigs and Jungle. Here’s a selection of images from four days overflowing with fantastic music. Continue Reading
Having had the pleasure of seeing Underworld perform at least six times over the years, I can attest that their ever-evolving live show is a true spectacle to behold. After Karl Hyde revealed on a recent BBC Radio 6 guest mix that Underworld will be recording a new album in the not too distant future and playing select summer dates, today the duo announced their only U.S. appearance this year will take place at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles on June 21, 2015.
But this isn’t just any show — it’s a special performance celebrating the 20th anniversary of their album classic 1994 album dubnobasswithmyheadman, which boasts classic songs like “Mmm…Skyscraper I Love You,” “Dirty Epic” and “Cowgirl.” The gig is also part of KCRW’s World Festival series.
Tickets go on sale to the public on May 3, 2015. Fans can gain access to the exclusive pre-sale starting April 24th by signing up for Underworld’s mailing list.
Underworld and Heller & Farley have recorded a cover of Frankie Knuckles’ 1987 Chicago house classic “Baby Wants To Ride” to be released via Junior Boys Own on March 31, 2015, the first anniversary of the legendary DJ/producer’s death. The release follows an array of artists, including Def Mix partner David Morales, Tony Humphries and Jimmy Edgar, who have paid tribute to the master since his passing.
The interpretation of one of Knuckles’ signature tunes will be released digitally and on limited edition 12” vinyl by Junior Boys Own/Caroline International. All proceeds of the record will go to the Frankie Knuckles Fund, which is part of the Elton John AIDS Foundation.
“As the creator of house music we owe Frankie a huge debt. Karl and I have always seen Frankie as the source and, as Underworld, we’re always swimming in his river,” said Underworld’s Rick Smith.
“My relationship with Frankie goes back a long way. Twenty-five years ago, Frankie championed the early music Pete Heller and I made and many of the first releases on Junior Boys Own. He helped turn a group of suburban London music fans into DJs and producers who could travel the world, simply by his patronage,” said Terry Farley.
Sir Elton John said of the release, “It’s fabulous. I have always LOVED Underworld. This is a great track and tribute to Frankie. Thanks to everyone involved from me and everyone at the Elton John AIDS Foundation.”
You can buy the track digitally now at babywantstoride.com, ensuring all proceeds go direct to the charity, without any retailer margin deductions. The limited edition of 1,000 vinyl 12″s and the digital bundle are available at as “Pay What You Want” (subject to a minimum of £12 plus shipping for the vinyl and £3 for the digital bundle).
Stay tuned for an upcoming tribute to Frankie Knuckles publishing next month.
Brian Eno and Underworld’s Karl Hyde collaborated on an album set for release in May on Warp Records. The nine-track Someday World, which was produced by Eno with 22-year-old Fred Gibson, features a string of prominent guests including Tessa Angus, Nell Catchpole, Marianna Champion, Will Champion, Kasia Daszykowska, Don E., Darla Eno, Georgia Gibson, Andy Mackay, John Reynolds and Chris Vatalaro.
Obligatory press release gush from Brian Eno: “A lot of the nicer cities I know are cities built on hills, and the cities are beautiful because the buildings have a challenge to adapt to. They have to mould themselves around the geology that they’ve formed upon. And that always makes for very interesting buildings, because they can’t just be blocks, they have to somehow morph around the environment. A lot of the constructions on the album were deliberately irregular and awkward. I had a big collection of ‘beginnings’ sitting around waiting for something to galvanise them into life, to make them more than just ‘experiments’. That something turned out to be Karl Hyde.”
Obligatory press release gush from Karl Hyde: “It’s a bit like being nine years old again. You have no idea what you’ve just been given, the record button has been pressed and you’re on. And then these unlikely patterns start to happen. The biggest surprise was discovering we both had a love of Afrobeat, Cyclical music based in live playing. When Brian played me these early tracks it was, ‘Oh my god, this is home! Can I borrow a guitar?”
A special double-CD version of Someday World featuring four bonus songs as well as CD, double gatefold vinyl and digital formats are available for pre-order from the Underworld.com store.
Even though Underworld are in the midst of prepping for the London Olympics (they’re the music directors, in case you were unaware), Karl Hyde has announced his first UK solo art exhibition taking place this summer. The exhibition titled “What’s Going on in Your Head When You’re Dancing?” — which was shown at the La Foret Museum in Tokyo — will be presented at the Bernard Jacobson Gallery in London between July 17 and 10th August.
Obligatory press gush about his work: “Hyde’s large-scale paintings, diptych and triptychs, are entirely abstract gestural works, which have an affinity to both abstract expressionism and Japanese calligraphy. Painted on paper or packing cardboard with very large soft brushes and drawn into with charcoal and pastel, in some works one single gesture runs the length of the surface, in others marks combine into something more rhythmically complex. Hyde will often sit in front of the blank support, rehearsing the action he is about to take in his head before he begins the work itself, in much the same way as he rehearses the movements he will make across the stage during a performance. In the exhibition these paintings will be accompanied by more intimate pencil drawings and scroll like works in pencil and gouache on Japanese fold-out books, which describe driving through the chaotic urban environment of cities such as Tokyo and Miami.”