Club + Bars


Underworld's Karl Hyde, right, and Rick Smith are back together at Ultra for the first time in six years.
Underworld's Karl Hyde, right, and Rick Smith are back together at Ultra for the first time in six years.

For electronic music fans, does Underworld even need an introduction? Well here goes, for the sadly uninitiated: The British dance-music duo – consisting of frontman Karl Hyde and producer Rick Smith – has rewarded us with some of the greatest anthems of all time over the past 17 years, including “Dark & Long,” “Cowgirl,” “Pearl’s Girl,” “Beautiful Burnout,” “Born Slippy” and the new instant-classics “Always Loved a Film” and “Scribble,” from the new album “Barking.”  Hyde talked to about Ultra and future projects.


So, happily, Underworld is headlining Ultra again. What keeps you coming back?

Happy, dancing people.

Is this Underworld’s only gig during WMC?

Yes, we have just finished working at the National Theatre in London with director Danny Boyle on his sell-out production of “Frankenstein,” so we’ve only begun rehearsals for Underworld this week. Then we go straight offstage at Ultra and fly to our next show over in the Mediterranean. Another full-on year for us already.

What can we expect from the show?


“Barking” sounds as fresh as anything any electronic music producer has come up with over the past decade. How do you maintain your enthusiasm – how do you remain inspired after all these years?

We get to be around musicians and producers who inspire us. They drive us to keep exploring and looking for new ways of expressing ourselves through music.  This is a fantastic job – we dreamed of doing it since we were kids and the dream is still going.


Your lyrics are a brilliantly rhythmic stream of consciousness. What inspires them, in general?

Documenting street life and overhearing other people’s conversations.

“Born Slippy” took off after the movie “Trainspotting,” and now you’ve collaborated again with director Danny Boyle. What’s your score to “Frankenstein” like, and will you incorporate any part of it into your live show?

The score to “Frankenstein” is different from our live show in that it’s not so beat-driven nor for dancing to. However, it’s often loud, uplifting and at times a dreamscape, so in many ways it will be familiar to our fans. Dropping some of the score into the live show is a great idea – we’ll have a look at that.


What are some of your favorite songs to perform live, and why?

My love is to walk out onstage with Rick and [DJ] Darren [Price], wait for that first groove to drop, and surf on the energy that comes back from the crowd. I couldn’t tell you what track is playing when that happens, I’m so lost in the beat.


Will you have time to check out any other shows during WMC, and if so, do you have a wish list?

This is going to be a whistle-stop visit, but I’m going to see as many of the other artists as possible. We’ve been locked away in the theater for a long time!


How often do you visit Miami, and what do you think of the city?

We get to Miami about once every couple of years, and it’s a good time to hook up with friends. I love the architecture and the light. The sun lifts people’s spirits and that’s great to be around. I enjoy walking the streets talking photographs –  the sun makes everything “sing” for the lens. A great city to visit.

Underworld – Born Slippy (Refracture Remix) by Refracture