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Dance music giants Underworld coming to Dubai

Words by Rob Chilton

The Born Slippy music icons bring their thumping dance anthems to the Groove on the Grass festival

The 2012 London Olympics threw up countless amazing stories but, for many, the moment their jaws truly dropped wasn’t sporting in nature, it was the opening ceremony. A major part of its success was Danny Boyle’s remarkable vision and imagination, but huge credit also must go to the musical direction from British electronic masters Underworld.

Opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics

The duo – Rick Smith and frontman Karl Hyde – have been pounding bass into dance fans’ chests for over two decades and play Groove on the Grass in Dubai in February.

It was Underworld’s third album, 1994’s Dubnobasswithmyheadman that set them on the path to stardom. The Guardian called it, “an extraordinary melding of wayward street poetry, dark atmospheres and propulsive, hook-filled techno.”

Rick Smith (left) and Karl Hyde turn it up

But true mainstream chart success came two years later with the release of Danny Boyle’s seminal movie Trainspotting, which used Born Slippy.NUXX (the title came from a file name mistakenly added to the track by the duo’s computer) as the outro song. Underworld usually close their live shows with this thumping track so make sure you stick around for the finale.

Trainspotting propelled Underworld into the mainstream

“It’s quite interesting how it works, us two, because we’re polar opposites, really,” reveals Smith. “People ask us why we’ve been together so long, and it’s certainly not because we’re all loved up all the time. That’s not to imply that we’re constantly disagreeing, either. We’re just different, you know? But we’ve finally realised, at our tender age, that that’s ok.”

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