Following the larger-than-life "Silent Siren" and preceding a new album as a full-band, "Prologue" is an instrumental, introvert musical dialogue between Dean Rodell and Ivan Shopov. If both are known for their beat-driven music, Underhill's new album is what they listen to and write when the time comes for calm moments and beauty. A melancholic and beautiful play of acoustic tones, dub atmospheres and electronic glitches, "Prologue" provides a welcome respite to an overdriven electronic scene and does so with subtlety and humanity. (Get this on CD / as a poster print with download code / as digital files)
Underhill's debut, 2012's “Silent Siren” album, was a larger-than-life work. Combining the musical talent of three producers (Dean Rodell, Cooh / Balkansky's Ivan Shopov and Current Value's Tim Elliot) and including the voices of Martina Astner and MC Coppa, often all on one track, was a major effort resulting in a full and lush sound.
Just as “Silent Siren” was a surprise both in its line-up and its resulting seductive sound, “Prologue” is everything except what one could have expected. Instead of gathering the whole band again for days or weeks in the studio, Dean Rodell and Ivan Shopov chose to work together in a reduced setting. Recorded in the weeks preceding the 2013 edition of the Burn The Machine festival (and including a collaboration with the Bulgarian dark-ambient artist Mytrip on the title track), this new album is a intimate work, which sounds and feels as a concentrate of these two musicians' take at dub, introvert music.
While Ivan Shopov and Dean Rodell are better known for their club-friendly drum'n'bass and dubstep (the first as Balkansky and Cooh, the later either solo or as part of Machine Code), they are no strangers to much calmer material. “Prologue” is the perfect example of their skills at long atmospheric tunes, dub-heavy ambiences and acoustic tones. An album clearly made for careful home-listening, far from the dancefloor or the concert stage, this new album is what these musicians listen to (and invite you to listen to) when the feet are tired and the brain needs beauty rather than beats.
Harmony and calm in an unassuming, perfectly crafted and compact album: Underhill's second album is what the electronic scene desperately needs, and a “Prologue” in itself of more music to come.
CD / poster with download code / digital
April 28th, 2014
Illustration by Ivan Shopov
Tracklisting: 1. All That Glitters 2. Happier 3. Folded 4. The Land Of Grey 5. Your Mind 6. Thousand Yard Stare 7. Prologue (featuring Mytrip) 8. Two Keys Black 9. Please Specify