Bungalow with Stairs (Rick Smith) CD (2010)Underworld
First Released in 2010.
Bungalow With Stairs is a journey undertaken purely in sound. Tokyo to London and back via your very best headphones.
Occasionally that sound is an infinite plain of low drones, broken only by a sampled voice that guides the listener, like the announcements on some infinity travelator. Sometimes, it’s a frenetic breakbeat that crackles and snaps, punctuating a mechanical disco that’s already in full flow. At others, it invites you to take a seat in a synthesised lounge bar somewhere west of here, next to a malfunctioning android who reveals, “I am lonely bollock.” And, at times, it’s an ambient lullaby - soothing audio picked up from somewhere above the clouds.
Rick Smith’s Bungalow With Stairs is a series of audio experiments originally compiled to accompany Karl Hyde’s solo art exhibition What’s Going On In Your Head When You’re Dancing. It’s a style recognisable from several Underworld pieces, such as the Most ‘Ospitable version of Dark & Long, Cuddle Bunny Vs. Celtic Villages and latterly the Manchester Street Poem soundtrack and DRIFT’s Low Between Zebras - tracks where snatched, sampled dialogue sits atop transcendent melody, sometimes punctuated by heavy rhythm tracks. It’s ambient daydream music, a travelogue for closed eyes and an open mind. You just need to decide whether the stairs go up, or down.