#21 Underworld – Cowgirl

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Intelligent Dance Music (IDM) is described as dance music beyond the dancefloor, beats with an added creative nuance that your average floor filler forgets to include. Well, I’ve always been partial to the odd trance stomper (c.f. Madagascar by Art Of Trance) and to be honest I find this IDM lark a bit pretentious. I can understand indie snobbery (!) but isn’t the vast majority of dance music in effect, well er, disposable. There was a time when I wholeheartedly agreed with the last sentence but the rise and rise of electronica has changed all that. Orbital, Boards of Canada, The Aphex Twin, Four Tet and Underworld (their 9th Symphony ‘Rez’ still gives me goosebumps) are immensely talented artists. The latter may have been on a downward curve for nearly a decade yet in 1993 they crafted an album chock full of electronic classics. ‘Dubnobasswithmyheadman’ still sounds futuristic and adventurous with the sporadic chord interplay helping things along nicely. Darren Emerson & Co. sure knew how to whip a tune into action and ‘Cowgirl’ displays their myriad of gifts to full effect. A repetitive vocal is backed by a pummelling beat as the surface tension gradually ratchets to a point where a spinning electro fizzle whisks your mind to another dimension. This is the sound of the perfect high, with your functions unable to resist the aural onslaught you find Nike Air like properties pumping through your slip ons. Yeah, it’s that good. The trio went on to have worldwide success with ‘Born Slippy’ before Emerson departed and the project slowly diminished. KD

Underworld – Cowgirl

Album: Dubnobasswithmyheadman
Year: 1993
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