The 1996 film Trainspotting was the first place Iggy Pop and Underworld (figuratively) met. Though far apart in genre, Pop’s “Lust for Life” and Underworld’s “Born Slippy” are both instrumental in setting the tone for the chaotic black comedy. Now, over 20 years later, the rock legend and godfathers of British electronic music (the duo behind Underworld, Karl Hyde and Rick Smith) have met up once again, this time in a more literal fashion.
Teatime Dub Encounters is an EP of four tracks, enough to cover drum n’ bass, ambient and techno, all with Pop’s paranoid drawl laced over each song. Stylistically, it’s very similar to Underworld’s work of the past 20 years, intricate break beats with poetic spoken word. While not revolutionary in the world of dance music, Underworld reliably delivers sprawling, atmospheric tracks, this album being no exception.
As for Pop’s roll on the album, it’s like listening to your grandfather reminiscing in his favorite armchair—except you’re also at a rave. He maintains the throbbing tenor from years ago, a familiar growl from the stalwart punk. Pop plays well with Underworld, understanding the subtlety of their music, delivering lyrics with dry humor and a light touch.
Teatime Dub Encounters is a compelling listen for old punks and techno heads alike. It’s a nostalgic run with beloved artists that’s brief without being half-baked. But unlike some trips down memory lane, Underworld and Iggy Pop never linger too long in one place.
Notable Track: “Trapped”