Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

Arts and Entertainment

Listen to Your Eyes

LAist relies on your reader support.
Your tax-deductible gift today powers our reporters and keeps us independent. We rely on you, our reader, not paywalls to stay funded because we believe important news and information should be freely accessible to all.
5b2bf3074488b3000926cb69-original.jpg

Like many Americans, the first time I heard Underworld was in Trainspotting, the 1996 Danny Boyle movie when "Born Slippy.nuxx" plays over the ending. Eleven years on, I still explain Underworld this way, and some people remember it. I think that's a testament to both the song and the movie.

In the fall of 1998, I bought the single for "Cowgirl/Dirty Epic". It was already four years old, but sounded current. And it (specifically, the album version of "Dirty Epic") changed my life. This twisting, dark tumble, its loneliness and wonder, evoked the corner of Second Avenue and St. Mark's (I was living in New York at the time), in the new darkness, the sky still lit enough to be blue velvet. It was not the real place but the idea that introduced me to possibility -- anything could happen.

This kind of song only happens a couple of times in a life. I still feel lucky that it happened to me. But it wasn't all luck. Underworld makes the kind of driven, flowing, atmospheric electronic music that transcends genre.