Iconic electronic duo Underworld has announced its first North American performances in five years, starting on May 15 in San Francisco. Spanning five dates, the tour coincides with the project’s 40 year anniversary and will feature two-hour sets, which include classic tracks alongside selections from the band’s most recent release, 2019’s Drift: Series 1. A full listing of live dates with links to purchase tickets can be found on the Underworld website.
Drift: Series 1 was the culmination of an audiovisual experiment in which the band released consecutive tracks and music videos on a weekly basis over the course of a full year, collected in the form of digital EPs, or “episodes,” that resulted in 38 tracks; an additional 11 tracks were included on the final album, which arrived on November 1, 2019 both digitally and in the form of a box set of seven CDs, one Blu-ray, and an 80-page book chronicling the creation of Drift. Underworld then announced the project would continue for another year.
Formed in 1980 by Rick Smith and Karl Hyde as a funk and synthpop act, Underworld turned toward progressive house and techno in 1993. The band’s critically acclaimed body of work includes collaborations with Iggy Pop and Danny Boyle, composing the score to a 2011 stage production of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein at the Royal National Theatre, and the score to the opening ceremonies for the 2012 London Olympics; Underworld’s music has also been featured in such soundtracks to The Beach, The Saint, Vanilla Sky, Sunshine, and most famously Trainspotting. The group has been cited as an influence by video game composers and musicians ranging from Nobuyoshi Sano to Radiohead.