Bells & Circles – Iggy Pop and Underworld

Two legends post transformation.

Underworld have electrified, moved, soothed and tranced. Iggy has lived in and outlived his rivals plus his protegees and remains. Reincarnations, incantations, reflect… and what got grown here came out somewhere in next. Both acts can be tracked through their tectonic shifts and this single ripped right out from nowhere.

The recent re-issues of Dubnobasswithmyheadman, 2nd Toughest and Beaucoup Fish seemed to re-energise Smith and Hyde. Barbara, Barbara (their latest) is a jewel of love letters and hypnotic fixtures; an alarm for a then-urgent need to create.

Iggy too got refused after 2016’s Post Pop Depression; an aggression on high with a Bowie production as directed by Pop and Josh Homme.     

Now Iggy relaxes, sits back and leans hard on his semi god status. Patience demands we do to. Allow him to lead as we follow him down his own meandering flow to the wide open sky, “Sunlight/ on my wings” the reprieve.

Underworld move through a groove reminiscent of the persistent flickering rhythms of ‘Skyscraper and ‘Dity Epic’, it’s a sound some might say once went missing. Confident in minute variation. Shifting pitches in beats match the cooler-than-cool sat-back drawl of new low-slung Iggy that drags you and draws you through it’s 7.5 minutes, and it’s only just too smooth to jerk.

It’s Iggy untaxed, waxing free reminiscing, setting up punchlines on airplanes and cocaine and hostesses with playful nostalgia of in-cabin smoking and past attitudes. “If he has wings” he says. Iggy. You’re flying.

Music and underpins glitchily swoon, a second act laps at a hint of a chorus. Arpeggios fracture as Iggy gets loose in a come join me getting ridiculous. Laurie Anderson threads tie together, Modest Mouse / Mark E Smith collaborations come to mind and acts 1 and 2 get wrapped up in eachother.

Best part of this is it sounds like it’s done for nothing but fun. And nothing but fun’s what you get. It’s a new Desert Session and I am delighted. Unless you’re hearing this on a ten hour flight and smoking’s the one on mind.

Iggy. You’re rubbing it in.


  iggy underwold

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