I'm an outright Underworld fan ever since I bought Karl Hyde and Rick Smith's very cool concert DVD, "Everything; Everything" back in 1993, a companion piece to the CD. Since then, I have bought many imports, a box set, and subsequent releases after 1993.
"A Hundred Days Off" was the duo's last studio release in 2002. Now, four years later, Underworld is ready to unleash itself to the masses via an EP called "Riverrun Remixes," a six-track "single" remixed by the likes of Paul Woolford, Pete Heller, Buick Project, Pig and Dan, Robag, and Martinez.
I dug 4 out of the 6 tracks: the Paul Woolford Vocal, the Pete Heller Vocal, Pig and Dan's Mix 2, and Robag's Mix with Melody.
First up is Paul Woolford (aka Bobby Peru), a native of Liverpool and a House fiend who, while incorporating recognizable Underworld background beats and vocals, infuses his own electronic grind to "Jal To Tokyo," making it a great opening track.
Track two is the Pete Heller Vocal of "Peggy Sussed." It contains the classic Underworld sound which defined them back in the early 90s, harkening back to the DubNoBassWithMyHeadMan CD.
Track three is Buick Project's Mix #1 of "Play Pig." This was one of two tracks that didn't sit or stand well with me. Perhaps it was due to the track being a bit too happy, too non-brooding.
The forth track, Pig and Dan's Mix #2 of "Play Pig" begs the bass dial or knob to be turned up real loud. The vocals are dark and brooding and the track excels and accelerates followed by a brief cooling off period before the track kicks back up again only to wind back down with the finishing straight in sight.
The fifth track, "Peggy Sussed," as remixed by Robag Wruhme with Melody, is another bass lifter and dark vocal enlightener. Robag, who also goes by the alias, Gabor Schwablizki, is a German Electronica artist, who, while I'm not familiar with his work, won me over with this track.
Finally, the sixth track, and the second track out of the group that I didn't care for, "Vanilla Monkey," as remixed by Martinez, sounded more like a Pac-Man video game. I can't really see this playing all that well in a packed club but maybe in some after-hours club.
If you recall, Underworld is chock full of interesting lyrics along with a colorful array of dark and brooding House, Techno, and Trance synthesized beats and engaging melodies. At first I wasn't digging the blips and bleeps on some of the tracks but the more I listened to each of the tracks, I found the majority of them growing on me except for the two that I discussed. Rest assured there is an ample amount of that familiar Underworld danceable sound that so many of us fondly remember.
Give this sampler a few re-listens because they haven't come all this way just to put out something schlocky.