This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to Underworld, Dirty Epic/Cowgirl EP January 26, 2013Posted by WorldbyStorm in Culture, This Weekend I'll Mostly Be Listening to..., Uncategorized.
This is shooting fish in a barrel in a way, for Underworld when they were good, and they were very very good indeed for their first two albums, were really pretty great. Later, and perhaps predictably once Darren Emerson went his separate way they weren’t by any means bad, but somehow they lost something difficult to pin down but not entirely intangible. That said I was never much of a fan of “Born Slippy” which achieved a level of ubiquity that did them no favours after its inclusion on the Trainspotting OST and after that their output was up and down, though I have to put in a word for Barking released in 2010 which constituted something of a return to original form.
This EP, though, was an US release in 1994, and I can’t remember where or when I purchased it. After the album Dubnobasswithmyheadman because I got that sharpish around the time it came out in 1993, but how long after? I don’t know. I suspect that I got it because a) it was cheap and b) the cover artwork. Always had a thing for the design and typography Underworld used on their releases, produced by their own art collective Tomato (and anyone who likes it too should try to get their hands on Mmm… Skyscraper I Love You: A Typographic Journal of New York… published by them ).
Now granted, one would have to really like Dirty Epic and Cowgirl for there are no less than three versions of each song on the EP, the original album releases and two remixes a piece. Rez and River of Bass are thrown in as if for good measure. But that’s okay, because I really did like the tracks. Cowgirl is stunning from the first intoned ‘Everything, everything’, delivering everything that progressive house promised in a crisp, but never overlong, 8.29 minutes. The Winjer Mix is a great deconstruction of the track, the Cowgirl (Irish Pub in Kyoto Mix) smoothes the rougher edges to some extent.
Dirty Epic, all keening introduction and expansive soundscape, is remixed adequately on the Dirty Mix and perhaps a tad more interestingly on the Dirty Guitar Mix. Rez – a non album track – and River of Bass are both excellent, the latter a particular favourite of mine for the way it sneaks in more traditional song forms.
Cowgirl (Irish Pub in Kyoto Mix)
Dirty Epic (Dirty Guitar Mix)
River of Bass