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-   -   Is Underworld innovative? (https://www.borndirty.org/forums/showthread.php?t=17092)

Future Proof 09-07-2010 11:01 AM

Is Underworld innovative?
 
Well? are they??

BrotherLovesDub 09-07-2010 11:17 AM

Re: Thoughts on Barking (Track by Track)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Future Proof (Post 144242)
push boundaries

I'm so sick of 'pushing boundaries' as a requisite for good music. Why does a band that's been at it almost 3 decades need to push boundaries? You do realize that there was nothing on Beaucoup Fish that pushed boundaries right? I assume you weren't listening to all the other stuff around at the time that was actually pushing boundaries. Underworld have never, NEVER been about pushing boundaries and to hold them to that standard is a fools game. Combining pop and techno? Been done long before Underworld, long before Dubno. Underworld are not and have never been innovators. They've just been damn good at combining the right elements in making dance music you could sing along to.

dubman 09-07-2010 11:25 AM

Re: Thoughts on Barking (Track by Track)
 
i think the term is pretty loose in general. whenever people said it i never took it to mean for music in general, but defined within their own progression. and there is a feeling that they've taken to "doing their version" of existing directions many bands have taken, (lets make an album like a movie score! let's make a really pop one!) whereas AHDO for all of its faults cant really be described as easily.

ultimately i dont care too much because "pushing boundaries" joins other meaningless phrases like "soundscapes" or "musical journey", and there are people who think they do that for real, so yr basically right. just perspective i guess

cacophony 09-07-2010 11:27 AM

Re: Thoughts on Barking (Track by Track)
 
i totally disagree with the assertion that they've never been innovators.

also, no one could ever accuse you of playing softball with your opinion, BLD. ;)

BrotherLovesDub 09-07-2010 11:35 AM

Re: Thoughts on Barking (Track by Track)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by cacophony (Post 144248)
i totally disagree with the assertion that they've never been innovators.

also, no one could ever accuse you of playing softball with your opinion, BLD. ;)

Give me what, in your opinion, is the clearest example of Underworld being innovators.

dubman 09-07-2010 11:38 AM

Re: Thoughts on Barking (Track by Track)
 
the more i know about music from whatever era any underworld album came out, the more i see the different strands they've pulled from to make their own thing. it wasnt moving any genres anywhere, just moving blocks around in people's heads.

cacophony 09-07-2010 11:43 AM

Re: Thoughts on Barking (Track by Track)
 
what specifically are you looking for? a single track or single moment in their career that you could point to and say, THERE IT IS? because good luck identifying that moment for any musician. music is all about influence and being influenced and even innovators will draw upon influences.

but just to use a sacred cow as an example, STITI was innovative. yes yes yes, you can point to all kinds of musicians sharing the landscape that were moving in a similar direction, but UW crafted a sound that was distinctly different and more evolved than their previous release and they packaged it with an intelligence that superseded their contemporaries.

cacophony 09-07-2010 11:43 AM

Re: Thoughts on Barking (Track by Track)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by dubman (Post 144250)
it wasnt moving any genres anywhere, just moving blocks around in people's heads.

excellent summary.

Future Proof 09-07-2010 12:11 PM

Re: Thoughts on Barking (Track by Track)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by BrotherLovesDub (Post 144245)
I'm so sick of 'pushing boundaries' as a requisite for good music. Why does a band that's been at it almost 3 decades need to push boundaries? You do realize that there was nothing on Beaucoup Fish that pushed boundaries right? I assume you weren't listening to all the other stuff around at the time that was actually pushing boundaries. Underworld have never, NEVER been about pushing boundaries and to hold them to that standard is a fools game. Combining pop and techno? Been done long before Underworld, long before Dubno. Underworld are not and have never been innovators. They've just been damn good at combining the right elements in making dance music you could sing along to.

I assume you wouldn't know what music sounds like when it raises the bar. Otherwise you wouldn't be claiming that dubno and stiti didn't bring something different to the table.

dubman 09-07-2010 12:12 PM

Re: Thoughts on Barking (Track by Track)
 
BLD has listened to every record ever made

Future Proof 09-07-2010 12:15 PM

Re: Thoughts on Barking (Track by Track)
 
Fail conjecture arguement is fail! Moving on...

Future Proof 09-07-2010 12:34 PM

Re: Thoughts on Barking (Track by Track)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by cacophony (Post 144251)
but just to use a sacred cow as an example, STITI was innovative. yes yes yes, you can point to all kinds of musicians sharing the landscape that were moving in a similar direction, but UW crafted a sound that was distinctly different and more evolved than their previous release and they packaged it with an intelligence that superseded their contemporaries.

That's all I was saying. I don't expect every band to do that with every release but when a band has, and doesn't? It's a bit of a letdown, even though it's like trying to bottle lightning.

34958hq439-qjw9v5jq298v5j 09-07-2010 12:40 PM

Re: Thoughts on Barking (Track by Track)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Future Proof (Post 144256)
I assume you wouldn't know what music sounds like when it raises the bar. Otherwise you wouldn't be claiming that dubno and stiti didn't bring something different to the table.

yes but "great" albums don't really need to be that innovative. Take the Cars first album, or maybe even Technique by New Order (to use another sacred cow) - neither of them really were terribly innovative, but they were great albums besides...

cacophony 09-07-2010 12:45 PM

Re: Thoughts on Barking (Track by Track)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by 34958hq439-qjw9v5jq298v5j (Post 144263)
yes but "great" albums don't really need to be that innovative. Take the Cars first album, or maybe even Technique by New Order (to use another sacred cow) - neither of them really were terribly innovative, but they were great albums besides...

agreed. i was thinking something similar after my last post.

bands don't have to move the bar to produce great work. radiohead, as an example, has followed a gradual evolution and frequently revisits familiar territory with brilliance.

but when a group does consistently raise the bar it can make fans like us a bit greedy. we want it want it want it and we're disappointed when we don't get it. it doesn't mean the work isn't good, we just get greedy and want new and sparkley ideas.

Future Proof 09-07-2010 12:51 PM

Re: Thoughts on Barking (Track by Track)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by 34958hq439-qjw9v5jq298v5j (Post 144263)
yes but "great" albums don't really need to be that innovative. Take the Cars first album, or maybe even Technique by New Order (to use another sacred cow) - neither of them really were terribly innovative, but they were great albums besides...

You're right, and there are more than a few albums I've listened to where I've felt that nothing new was added, but old ideas had just got polished to a point of near perfection. That said, Barking is NOT that album. It's not a bad album, but!!! It's not (IMHO) a classic, and my axe to grind came entirely from the fact that this UW album felt much more nestled in the middle of the pack than any other. I talked about OWB in my original post and how I felt that it was largely a failure. However, it was a risky, daring album with an original and unique feel... and it didn't work.

I have not listened to every album ever made myself. But I've listened to enough to know somewhat when artists are playing it safe, and when they are trying to write something completely different from both A.) their back catalog and B.) their contemporaries. And truth be told, I haven't unanimously liked anything Underworld has put out since STITI. But in spite of the fact that I've had a hard time with the rest of their releases I can feel in their music that they're always reaching and digging for something deeper. Always except for with Barking, a good album with no ambition except to (it seems) make everyone bust a move "when the lights go down".

But whatever, they've contributed enough to their scene and I'd wager that they personally had a ton of fun working with others, and enjoyed how much pressure was lifted when other people were brought in to do some of the heavy moving. This was a good record for them, and with good results in places. It's a different animal than everything else they've done however, and the samey-ness of this record compared to the modern scene is a major detraction.

BrotherLovesDub 09-07-2010 12:52 PM

Re: Thoughts on Barking (Track by Track)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by dubman (Post 144258)
BLD has listened to every record ever made

this is part of the master plan.

Dirty0900 09-07-2010 01:41 PM

Re: Is Underworld innovative?
 
Yes

starfox203 09-07-2010 01:54 PM

Re: Is Underworld innovative?
 
This album makes me happy. That's all the innovation I need.

purlieu 09-07-2010 04:26 PM

Re: Is Underworld innovative?
 
To be fair, they've come out and done an intentionally "poppy" album, collaborating with a number of varied producers. If that isn't different enough from their back catalogue (and most of their peers, especially following an album like OWB), I think people are getting picky.

BrotherLovesDub 09-07-2010 04:39 PM

Re: Is Underworld innovative?
 
Innovative by definition means 'to invent or begin to apply'. Underworld are not and have not been innovators in electronic music. This is no slight to Underworld. I don't really put much weight in being innovative. They've improved and excelled at a style but technically, they cannot take credit for being innovators of that style.

jose m 09-08-2010 03:26 AM

Re: Is Underworld innovative?
 
musically, in the 90's, i think they were at the "cutting edge" of dance electronic music along with aphex twin,fsol,black dog etc etc but whether you can call that innovative i don't know?
they are innovative in the field of live performance without a doubt.
every soft wear manufacturer wants underworld to run their gear and put it to use in the most advanced live set up in the biz.
basically i think they're guys interested in the mix of sounds and electronic's so are part of the long tradition of many groups and artist (tangerine dream,depeche mode,peter gabriel,the shamen,talk talk etc etc) over the last 50 years.


anyway,who actually is innovative ? bob dylan,derrick may,kraftwerk,satie,goldie,the beatles,stockhausen ? i think it just depends on your perspective.

cacophony 09-08-2010 05:47 AM

Re: Is Underworld innovative?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by BrotherLovesDub (Post 144286)
Innovative by definition means 'to invent or begin to apply'. Underworld are not and have not been innovators in electronic music.

if that's your definition of innovative then who would you say qualifies? musicians are influenced and in turn influence others. you're looking for spontaneous generation of ideas and that's not typically how it works.

okay okay okay, i'll give you richard d james. but who else?

Jason Roth 09-08-2010 06:26 AM

Re: Is Underworld innovative?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by BrotherLovesDub (Post 144286)
Innovative by definition means 'to invent or begin to apply'. Underworld are not and have not been innovators in electronic music. This is no slight to Underworld. I don't really put much weight in being innovative. They've improved and excelled at a style but technically, they cannot take credit for being innovators of that style.

Their live show was innovative. Big time. Not so much anymore tho.

potatobroth 09-08-2010 07:20 AM

Re: Is Underworld innovative?
 
Underworld single-handedly brought me into a whole new world of music. I'd heard lots of electronic music prior to Underworld -- some dance, some more experimental -- but I didn't really connect with it. Underworld was/is an intelligent, conceptual, well-crafted and delicately prepared electronic band and that to me, is innovative.

Were they the first? Probably not. Did they manage to take dance club type songs and bring them into my car, my house, my headphones in a time when that just wasn't happening? Yes. That's pretty innovative.

@JasonRoth: damn right! Their live show was very innovative. It's not fair to say its not anymore because they well into their career at this point. Artists can't be constantly innovative. Its impossible.

BrotherLovesDub 09-08-2010 08:07 AM

Re: Is Underworld innovative?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by jose m (Post 144321)
musically, in the 90's, i think they were at the "cutting edge" of dance electronic music along with aphex twin,fsol,black dog etc etc but whether you can call that innovative i don't know?
they are innovative in the field of live performance without a doubt.
every soft wear manufacturer wants underworld to run their gear and put it to use in the most advanced live set up in the biz.
basically i think they're guys interested in the mix of sounds and electronic's so are part of the long tradition of many groups and artist (tangerine dream,depeche mode,peter gabriel,the shamen,talk talk etc etc) over the last 50 years.


anyway,who actually is innovative ? bob dylan,derrick may,kraftwerk,satie,goldie,the beatles,stockhausen ? i think it just depends on your perspective.

I agree they could be classified as innovators with their live show, which makes what is currently happening live all the more disappointing. I can't be inspired to spend 5-700 to fly to SF to hear them play live versions that are virtually identical to the album version. It wasn't always like this. I personally don't need the music I enjoy to 'push boundaries' or be innovative so this whole argument is meaningless to my enjoyment of Underworld's recorded output. My point was to highlight to whoever criticized the new album for not 'pushing boundaries' as if Underworld were ever really pushing boundaries or even should be held to that standard 3 decades after they started making music.

jose m 09-08-2010 09:52 AM

Re: Is Underworld innovative?
 
[QUOTE=BrotherLovesDub;144334]I agree they could be classified as innovators with their live show, which makes what is currently happening live all the more disappointing. I can't be inspired to spend 5-700 to fly to SF to hear them play live versions that are virtually identical to the album version. It wasn't always like this.


unfortunately i think you are one of a "dying breed" amongst gig go-ers these days.:)
i don't think it will be "album versions" forever but for the moment its probably what the crowds they are playing to want.

ultradave 09-08-2010 10:02 AM

Re: Thoughts on Barking (Track by Track)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by BrotherLovesDub (Post 144245)
They've just been damn good at combining the right elements in making dance music you could sing along to.

here, here!

bryantm3 09-08-2010 10:18 AM

Re: Is Underworld innovative?
 
yes, i think underworld are innovators, and it's hard not to see it. look at dubno, for instance. it's not just a bunch of techno tracks squeezed together; you've got songs like skyscraper and dirty epic that lean towards the prog side of the spectrum and hold so much more meaning, complexity and emotion than something like 'get ready for this' by 2 unlimited or even 'the robots' by kraftwerk. interspersed between the technoey tracks, you've got several quieter tracks that feature guitar and more traditional instrumentation, but they still fit because the album flows as one. and all the time you've got the constant theme of weather going through the album... wind, thunder, the crunching of fall leaves, etc. there's no other techno band that sounds like that.

ultradave 09-08-2010 10:48 AM

Re: Is Underworld innovative?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bryantm3 (Post 144346)
...dubno...you've got the constant theme of weather going through the album... wind, thunder, the crunching of fall leaves, etc. there's no other techno band that sounds like that.

dubno is a great album worth remastering... will it ever happen??? i'd love the get a cleaner sound with some more bass - especially on m.e. love that track!

dirty epic encapsulates this group as a whole. no other track aside from their dancefloor favourites will bring true definition - it marked their beginning and will always pinpoint the greatness to begin.

you don't need to outdo every past release... it just doesn't work. I will have to say that uw for the most part have always been an experimental output for their artistic expression and they've developed their live performance to the point that most tracks sound better live. they're performers - well, at least karl is.

as long as they keep that artistic expression in their music - they will continue to be successful. i love this band! :D

Andrea 09-09-2010 04:00 AM

Re: Thoughts on Barking (Track by Track)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by BrotherLovesDub (Post 144245)
....They've just been damn good at combining the right elements in making dance music you could sing along to.

Amen to that

silic0n 09-09-2010 04:03 AM

Re: Thoughts on Barking (Track by Track)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by cacophony (Post 144251)
what specifically are you looking for? a single track or single moment in their career that you could point to and say, THERE IT IS? because good luck identifying that moment for any musician.

Well I'm not going to make any claims regarding the rest of their output, but Born Slippy.nuxx - end of. You will never in a million years get me to accept that that wasn't innovative and groundbreaking at the time of release.

I thank you

big screen satellite 09-09-2010 05:15 AM

Re: Thoughts on Barking (Track by Track)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by silic0n (Post 144407)
Well I'm not going to make any claims regarding the rest of their output, but Born Slippy.nuxx - end of. You will never in a million years get me to accept that that wasn't innovative and groundbreaking at the time of release.

I thank you


w00t!

thats their most uninnovative song - twas originally likened to an Elton John styled dance track when released....

innovation comes in my forms but BS NUXX - it not be....

now... mmm skyscraper....

big screen satellite 09-09-2010 05:20 AM

Re: Is Underworld innovative?
 
IS Underworld Innovative

or

ARE Underworld Innovative

i go with the latter...


i can't answer the question, its subjective, what's innovation??

JBO - now they were innovative in signing UW & The Dust Brothers - or we're they just clever? Its more likely right place right time....

and Danny Boyle was innovative in his selection of Born Slippy for his sound track.

froopy seal 09-09-2010 09:09 AM

Re: Is Underworld innovative?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by big screen satellite (Post 144414)
IS Underworld Innovative

or

ARE Underworld Innovative

*prepares popcorn*

34958hq439-qjw9v5jq298v5j 09-09-2010 10:14 AM

Re: Is Underworld innovative?
 
I dunno, this is kind of a silly question. UW are definitely innovative but they aren't like, ahead of their time or anything. dubnobass was the first electronic album I heard that had clear New Wave influences and actually had like, a singer. The real question is, who has really been that "innovative" since the late 70's? Aphex Twin? The poster child is Radiohead, but they kind of nicked most of their "big" ideas from 70's German rock didn't they? What kind of answer are you looking for?

TheBang 09-09-2010 11:09 AM

Re: Is Underworld innovative?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by big screen satellite (Post 144414)
IS Underworld Innovative

or

ARE Underworld Innovative

Haha, I wrestled with that in my mind just after creating the topic. Ultimately, I decided to leave it as is.

Dunwho 09-09-2010 11:17 AM

Re: Is Underworld innovative?
 
What a silly question

Caprice 09-10-2010 02:32 AM

Re: Is Underworld innovative?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by potatobroth (Post 144332)
Underworld single-handedly brought me into a whole new world of music. I'd heard lots of electronic music prior to Underworld -- some dance, some more experimental -- but I didn't really connect with it. Underworld was/is an intelligent, conceptual, well-crafted and delicately prepared electronic band and that to me, is innovative.

Were they the first? Probably not. Did they manage to take dance club type songs and bring them into my car, my house, my headphones in a time when that just wasn't happening? Yes. That's pretty innovative.

@JasonRoth: damn right! Their live show was very innovative. It's not fair to say its not anymore because they well into their career at this point. Artists can't be constantly innovative. Its impossible.

agreed.
i remember first getting dance mix usa vol. 4 (great shit)
then it was the "you've come a long way baby"
then i got the hackers soundtrack
then, i got everything, everything live. first on disc, then on DVD.

nothing was the same after that. i sort of became a music snob until i started playing guitar, which took me away from electronica. but having the knowledge of playing a guitar, taught me what Underworld were doing to be all the more grander.

Underworld is still the only band i know who do what they do, in other words, i've never come across a band blatantly trying to rip Underworld off.
- to me, thats innovation

Future Proof 09-10-2010 05:02 PM

Re: Is Underworld innovative?
 
So... much... conjecture...

I'd really appreciate it if the admin that broke my post off would change themselves to the OP. This back-and-forth isn't what I wrote the post about or had even intended on accomplishing.

EDIT: All fixed!


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