V/A - Athens: Underworld vs. The Misterons
Please note this is an old page and Fly Global Music has now moved. Please follow this link and search for the entry in the new site.
So the idea of getting some techno heads to compile a CD is not that exciting so who would have thought that they’d get as close to total completeness as it’s possible to get! OK, we’ve had some absolutely fantastic compilations this year but when it comes to “the outer limits of dance music, jazz-rock, fusion and progressive pop” this is the one to get with some rarities and leftfield gems.
But before we get to them, at one time Romford was known for the market, the dog track and the white spark of Essex girls’ stiletto heels on a Saturday night. That was until Underworld (aka Karl Hyde & Richard David Smith) hit it big with ‘Born Slippy’ that took them and DJ Darren Emerson to the heights of remix superstars and International recognition, especially as the track made it onto the soundtrack of the film Trainspotting.
Emerson later split to concentrate on his DJ career and the Underwater label leaving Hyde and Smith to release various albums over the past ten years, the last being Oblivion With Bells in 2007 that was followed with a world tour.
So with that in mind, it’s no surprise that the album kicks off with classic piece of cosmic spiritual jazz by Alice Coltrane. If you don’t know how talented the wife of John Coltrane is/was, this is the introduction and for more “pyschedelic cosmic love from California”, we’d strongly recommend the one and only Carlos Niño (who was in London recently, see interview HERE) and his band, Build An Ark (their new album, Love (Part 1) is out and see review HERE).
But back to Athens, the brilliant start continues. Long before I knew who John McLaughlin was (in terms of his contribution to fusion/post Mile Davis jazz rock), the Mahavishnu Orchestra were the name to drop back in the day. Spiritual, jazzy, with an axe great at the helm and Jean Luc Ponty on electric violin; ‘You Know, You Know’ showing how less is more par excellence.
Now you might think a Squarepusher track would spoil the mood but ‘Theme From Sprite’ sounds like it’s inspired by Weather Report. And whilst we’re on the subject, one of the greatest bass players next to Jaco Pastorius, is Miroslav Vitous (both played in Weather Report at various times) and Vitous’ ‘New York City’ is definitely my favourite all time jazz-funk-disco tracks ever (big up to my ‘dealer’ Phabius who got me the original 12” - sort of pre-ZE Records’ Material). Proof that New York City funks your NYPA like no other bassline!
And whilst we we’re on the subject of ‘greats’, I don’t suppose you would be reading this no if the UK hadn’t has produced classic bands like Soft Machine (in Carlos’ messenger period of classic albums and covers) or Roxy Music in the early 70s; not so much Mr. Ferry of course but the magic of Brian Peter George St John Le Baptiste De La Salle Eno. ‘2HB’ is the quintessential 6th form art school rock-pop with Andy McKay’s sax solo being the Laura Logic of his day - neither anywhere near Coltrane of course, but they didn’t need to be.
So this all sounds very comfortable and the ‘midfield’ gets a rapid update. Even so, it’s hard to believe the Detroit Experiment (as masterminded by Carl Craig) came out in 2003 (a forerunner of Build An Ark you could say?) but ‘Space Odyssey’ is another classic track with a life-changing trumpet solo by Marcus Belgrave; the album is much loved and this year saw remix action of the track ‘Think Twice’ by Henrik Schwarz and the talk of the Midlands, Mark E.
And then there’s a couple of tracks by another master of Detroit soul, Moodymann and another old FLY favourite, Osunlade before Underworld slip in their own track ‘Oh’ that’s got that ‘Man With A Red Face’ touch to it so it’s a perfect lead in to Laurent Garnier’s ‘Gnaumankoudji’.
The CD ends with an exclusive collaboration between Hyde and Eno that’s previously unreleased. With Hydes’ beat poetry, I’d say it’s the best thing either have done for a long time as you can’t count release this months of Shackleton remix of ‘Sometimes In Autumn’ by the collaboration of Harmonia & Eno that dates back to 1976!
So even if you are already fans of all the other eleven tracks, ‘Beebop Hurry’ is still a very good reason to get this compilation. And with the festive season coming up, this is as far from tinsel and turkey as you can get but even so, it’s an ideal present for a loved one; or even better, get it for yourself now.
And who are the Misterons?
Reviewed: V/A - Athens: Underworld vs. The Misterons Cat. No.!K7243CD Release date: 23rd November 2009
Visit Fly's new Amazon shops:
Fly Music Shop UK / Fly Music Shop US
V/A - Watch The Closing Doors: A History Of New York's Musical Melting Pot Vol. 1 1945-1960
V/A - Horse Meat Disco III
Snorkel - Stop Machine
V/A - Invasion Of The Mysteron Killer Sounds
Von D - Daydreaming
|Search Google for more about: V/A - Athens: Underworld vs. The Misterons
|CC Some Rights Reserved FLY 2012 || Add to Del.icio.us|