Daft Kanye: leeching or propping?

Posted: February 11th, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: Audio-Visual, Dance Rock, Events | 1 Comment »

Daft Kanye at Grammy Awards

For anyone who still gives a crap about the Grammy Awards, one of the most bizarre moments last night was Kanye West’s live performance with Daft Punk in tow. At least the two robots in the pyramid looked like Daft Punk, though they could have been paid actors. Such is the problem with post-modern robot costumes — how to verify their human authenticity? Read the rest of this entry »


Underworld doing the live thing

Posted: November 9th, 2007 | Author: | Filed under: Ambient, Ambient Techno, Audio-Visual, Breakbeat, Events, House, Techno, Web Culture | 1 Comment »

Underworld live light installation


Underworld launches members' downloads section

Posted: October 29th, 2007 | Author: | Filed under: Ambient, Ambient Techno, Audio-Visual, Breakbeat, Dance Rock, Events, House, Techno, Web Culture | No Comments »

Underworld circle graphic

You can now start a member’s account on Underworldlive.com to receive special treats and music downloads. According to recent interviews, they have a ton of unreleased stuff up their sleeves, a lot of it banging techno. Apparently they will be dispersing it through their site in the near future. Enjoy!


Underworld's Rick Smith at Abbey Road

Posted: October 29th, 2007 | Author: | Filed under: Ambient, Ambient Techno, Audio-Visual, Breakbeat, Dance Rock, House, Techno, Web Culture | No Comments »

Underworld's Rick Smith at Abbey Road
Here’s a snapshot from ongoing Underworld pics at Underworldlive.com. This one is of Rick Smith during the recording of Oblivion with Bells at Abbey Road Studios. Most people don’t know it, but Rick is the production genius behind Underworld’s stunning compositions.


New Underworld Album Almost Here

Posted: October 13th, 2007 | Author: | Filed under: Ambient Techno, Audio-Visual, Breakbeat, House, Techno, Web Culture | No Comments »

Underworld’s Oblivion With Bells hits the shelves on Tuesday. The buzz so far has been good, the latest coming from Scott Otto at Entertainment Today, who writes, “This is music for now, for today, for all of us who need hope to get through the days and nights of uncertainty that is 2007. And also for those of us who need beauty in our dance music.” Read the rest of this entry »


Simian Mobile Disco at the Echoplex

Posted: September 24th, 2007 | Author: | Filed under: Audio-Visual, Dance Rock, Events, Techno | No Comments »

Simian Mobile Disco

Simian Mobile Disco work their circle of analogue heaven at Pure. Photo by Vivahate.
Re-published under Creative Commons license.

Saturday night, September 22, 2007, Boys Noize and England’s analogue maestros Simian Mobile Disco tore up Los Angeles’ Echoplex. The magic duo of James Ford and James Anthony Shaw took a packed room for an unforgettable ride. Their baroque acid sound twitched and bursted over muscular beats, pounding and lashing the air with white-hot energy. Read the rest of this entry »


Underworld in Los Angeleeesss, makes gravity fall away

Posted: September 11th, 2007 | Author: | Filed under: Ambient, Ambient Techno, Audio-Visual, Breakbeat, Events, House, Techno | 3 Comments »

Underworld bring nature into technology

Underworld’s Rick Smith, Darren Price and Karl Hyde conduct their multi-sensory magic on stage. Photo by Mark_V_Socal.

Anticipating Underworld’s return to the world stage, Karl Hyde recently wrote at Underworldlive.com that they were eager to look again “for the spaces between the notes, between the beats, where gravity falls away.” And that’s exactly what happened Sunday night at the Hollywood Bowl under a big wide sky.

KCRW’s Jason Bentley gave a nostalgic introduction, calling back to Underworld’s first US appearance at Southern California’s Organic rave festival in 1996. I was there and I remember too the sheer sonic power of that performance. That time they played on the same stage as The Chemical Brothers, Orbital and Meat Beat Manifesto. This time Paul Oakenfold opened, showcasing his underwhelming emo-trance. But it was clever to have Oakey play, ensuring a bigger crowd by mixing older, smarter cats with the new, less schooled.

There was no mega-burst of sound when Underworld kicked off their set. Instead, they made perfect use of the Bowl’s atmosphere, gliding in with hypnotic, percolating grooves. First off was their delicious new single, “Crocodile,” with its wicked sliding bass line opening up time in the mind. From their they cruised through trippy “Luetin” and “Kiteless.” Hyde was a perfect showman, bringing everyone into the vibe, his intro wordplay paying homage to, as he rolled it, “Los Angeleeesss.” Read the rest of this entry »


Underworld Rocks Bells at the Hollywood Bowl

Posted: September 10th, 2007 | Author: | Filed under: Ambient, Ambient Techno, Audio-Visual, Breakbeat, Dance Rock, Events, House, Techno | 1 Comment »

Underworld montage

Photos and montage by Chiapetgirl.

I hadn’t seen Underworld play in maybe 7 years and last night at the Hollywood Bowl I could hear the past, present and future. They played a healthy blend of material from their upcoming “Oblivion With Bells” album and classic permutations. It was mind-bending, volcanic, wily, and wise. Underworld rocks bells!


Underworld's sweet "Oblivion"

Posted: September 8th, 2007 | Author: | Filed under: Ambient, Ambient Techno, Audio-Visual, Breakbeat, House, Techno, Web Culture | No Comments »

Underworld under sunflowers

Rick Smith and Karl Hyde get some shelter. Photo by Perou.

The Los Angeles Times ran a nice article Thursday on Underworld’s return to the fray. It confirms the positive buzz about their new album, “Oblivion With Bells,” due out in October, and gives a quick preview of what to expect:

Ethereal offerings such as the lush, Brian Eno-esque “To Heal” and the cacophonous, brooding “Cuddle Bunny vs. Celtic Images” hint at Underworld’s recent soundtrack work (the band scored Danny Boyle’s sci-fi film “Sunshine”). Tracks such as “Glam Bucket” exemplify Underworld at its finest, full of ringing bells punctuated by discordant bursts of noise. But driving, hypnotic and percussive songs such as the eight-minute epic “Beautiful Burnout” will excite fans the most — imagine a tranced-out Depeche Mode after a weeklong bender in Ibiza.

Reporter Charlie Amter gets some nice quotes and perspective from Karl Hyde, who notes that the band has been quite busy since “A Hundred Days Off,” releasing three download-only albums and a series of 12 inches. The story also highlights Underworld’s “video jamming” and their progressively larger sound.


Terrabyte: Art, Science and Nature – 2007

Posted: August 27th, 2007 | Author: | Filed under: Ambient, Ambient Techno, Audio-Visual, Events | No Comments »

Tycho works the soft, warm magic of yesterday's future

Tycho showcases his watercolored, nostalgic sound at the Los Angeles County Arboretum. Photo by Electrohound.

On Sunday, the third annual “Terrabyte” show began with local DJs and electronica artists playing to families, kids, hipsters and students. Set in the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden, a vast park filled with plants and trees from around the world, the “Art, Science and Nature” event began around 4 in the afternoon and extended to late evening.

In the main area, ambient techno artists Testshot Starfish, Tycho and Boom Bip explored three different sides of electronic music. Testshot Starfish belted out their glitchy heaps of textured funk and warping walls of sound. Tycho played mellower tunes to a sitting audience lounging on the grass and tripping out to his ’70s inspired psychedelia. And Boom Bip closed out with a techno party vibe, keeping the metronomes steady and fun. A cover of Joe Jackson’s “Steppin’ Out” drew the most smiles of the night.
I & I Soundsystem at Terrabyte 2007

I & I Soundsystem bring their portable irie party to Pasadena. Photo by Electrohound.

Elsewhere, the organizers set up I & I Soundsystem near the stage grounds, their mobile music van chugging out dub, reggae and soul from sunlight to moonrise. Walking along the grounds, my girlfriend and I explored the Arboretum by ourselves, walking once before sundown and again at night under a full moon. Read the rest of this entry »