Underworld - Bird 1

Sian Lower 22/11/2010

Rating: 4/5

They may have worked together since 1980, but Underworld's Karl Hyde and Rick Smith have shown that you can teach an old dog new tricks.

It's evident from the off that the duo have merged their music style with that of various producers and contributors for their sixth studio album. Their new single Bird 1 is a hypnotic mix of trance, house and...well... something a little different. The ever-famous Born Slippy anthem from 1995 had a certain amount of techno and dance - Bird 1 is far more trance-orientated. A punchy, almost urgent beat starts the single, which leads the listener straight in - it has you from the word go. Their video choice for this particular single is also peculiar - in the beginning, you're not sure what exactly you're looking at, which adds further suspense.

What follows is nothing short of surprising. Those familiar soft vocals come first. While you're busy listening to those, the beat kicks in again and this time it gets your heart rate going. The video consists of a dead bouquet of flowers coming to life, and it works superbly with the tone of the song.

The tune slowly speeds up, as do the vocals. By the time you realise this more aspects have been added and there are at least four layers of music playing throughout. These guys know how to attract new people to their genre, whilst staying true to their original sound.

If you listen to any of their back-catalogue you will no doubt be aware that these guys don't hold back and can be pretty obscure. But this single has an altogether more up-to-date, mature feel compared to previous singles Rez or Jumbo. The band has evolved to a stage that shakes off their 90's image and brings far more to the table for 2010.

Underworld's latest album Barking is their first release in three years, and as of today you can listen to their new single Bird 1 digitally.