Underworld are a British electronic group formed in 1980 in Cardiff and the principal name under which musicians Karl Hyde and Rick Smith have recorded together. Darren Price has toured with the band since 2005, after the departure of Darren Emerson in 2000. Known for visual style and dynamic live performances, Underworld have influenced a wide range of artists and been featured in soundtracks and scores for films, television and the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

Hyde and Smith began their musical partnership with the Kraftwerk and reggae-inspired sounds of The Screen Gemz while working together in a diner in the city of Cardiff, where both had been studying. They were joined by The Screen Gemz’ bass player Alfie Thomas, drummer Bryn Burrows, and keyboardist John Warwicker in forming a proto-electroclash/new wave band whose name was a graphic squiggle, which was subsequently given the pronunciation Freur. The band signed to CBS Records and went on to release the albums Doot-Doot in 1983 and Get Us out of Here in 1986. Freur disbanded in 1986.

In 1987, Hyde, Smith, Thomas, Burrows and bass player Baz Allen formed a band under the name Underworld (named after a Clive Barker-scripted film which was scored by Freur), which tried a more guitar-orientated funky electropop sound. The band signed to Sire Records and released the album Underneath the Radar in 1988 and, following the departure of Burrows, the album Change the Weather in 1989. This version of the band disbanded in 1990 and is supposedly regarded as a separate entity by the band’s members to the one which would go on to release “dubnobasswithmyheadman” (this album is therefore frequently referred to as being a debut). The Underworld of the “Underneath the Radar” and “Change the Weather” period is sometimes also referred to as being “Underworld Mk1”. more »


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