Underworld

Everything, Everything

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Underworld didn't become one of the biggest groups in the dance world by sitting in the studio all day, spending as much time making tea as producing tracks. Between records, the trio toured incessantly -- playing rock venues, dancefloors, major festivals all over the world -- and consistently made the single best case for techno working in a live (as opposed to club) context. So instead of a mix album (though alumnus Darren Emerson did record a volume in the Global Underground series), in mid-2000 Underworld released the live album Everything, Everything. And just like their studio LPs, this one works so well, not just because the tracks are so excellently produced, but because Underworld is so good at placing sympathetic tracks next to each other and creating effortless-sounding transitions. Each of the act's previous albums blended tracks so smoothly that new listeners were often forced to check the CD player just to see which track they're on at any second. Beginning here with "Juanita/Kiteless," the opening track(s) from 1996's Second Toughest in the Infants, Underworld tweaks the production slightly, then slides right into "Cups" and "Push Upstairs" from 1999's Beaucoup Fish. After pausing a few seconds to catch their breath (figuratively speaking) and accept some audience applause, the trio push onward into "Pearls Girl," perhaps the best production of their career and an obvious peak here. Granted, Underworld doesn't blend each transition on Everything, Everything, and Karl Hyde's vocals aren't always as perfect as on the LP. Still, excellent track selection (evenly distributed from all three LPs) and a winning performance let the band get nearly everything right on their first live album.

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