June 13, 2016

Underworld - Beaucoup Fish (1999)


Progressive house was ripening in 1999; a lot of artists were finding their groove and as a result more originality and mind-blowing sounds found their way onto albums in the genre. The already legendary electronic duo, Underworld, of course had to join in on the fun with Beaucoup Fish. The album isn't as iconic and unstoppable as the previous A-grade records cut for Dubnobasswithmyheadman and Second Toughest In The Infants, but it sure is stuffed with brilliant ideas and proved the band could still out-compete most house newcomers. The music oscillates between downtempo and absolute bangers, often in the same song, and demonstrates how Underworld has the greatest unwinds and builds of all time (and that's pretty much the basis of good house and techno right?). While their tracks can get pretty intense, they let all the dynamics subtly seep into your head. I like contrasting this with one of my other favorite house/techno groups, Orbital, who is more punctual with their layering and let new rhythms and synth lines slap right on the system with no warning. Underworld, on the other hand, just lets their colorful ambient musings dissipate and quickly bloom into something completely unexpected, butterfly style. Other progressive house artists such as Leftfield, early Basement Jaxx, and Daft Punk took stabs at this strategy, but Underworld lets this type of shit soar like no other. Let Beaucoup Fish put your head in the sky.

Sample

Beaucoup Fish