Dubnobass... CD (1994)
Release date: 24 January, 1994
The words that open dubnobasswithmyheadman describe the view from a hotel window in Chanhassen, Minnesota. Ominous weather conditions approaching, electricity on the horizon, as viewed in a pensive state of mind. They could just as easily be describing both the sound and the impact of the record they’re introducing.
A mould-breaking debut, dubnobass sounded like nothing else around it at the time. Or anything since its release back in January 1994. Although they’d previously made records as Underworld, dubnobass was the sound of a colossal creative rebirth. The change in them was absolute. They’d undergone a top to bottom reimagining of that what a band playing electronic music could sound like, ignored the successful tropes of their peers and forged on alone. Recognisable elements like vocals and guitars were twisted inside out, looped up and loped off and given new shapes and positions within tracks that rolled from deep, gleaming techno (Cowgirl) to liquid, languid dub (River of Bass).
While the nine tracks on dubnobass draw a route map for Underworld to follow of the coming decades, the body of work they form is unique in the band’s catalogue. A formative release built from new technologies and reams of words written into notebooks everywhere from Manhattan (Spoonman), Romford, central London (Dirty Epic) and the Country Inn Suites in Chanhassen (Dark & Long) - words written with no fixed destination in mind that eschewed dance music’s cliches and pursued an interior monologue that deftly jumped from paranoid to ecstatic to voyeuristic to wilfully elliptical and found their way into some of the most forward thinking music of the 20th century.
Nearly three decades on, dubnobasswithmyheadman remains daring, brilliant, inspired, quixotic and utterly singular - the real starting point of a beautiful and enveloping trip.
What the press said about the 20th anniversary reissue of dubnobasswithmyheadman
“Acclaimed at the time as the most important album since the Stone Roses’ debut, dubnobasswithmyheadman is no less singular and compelling 20 years later… the album sounds like a city talking to itself after dark.” The Guardian
"Dance music utterly unlike any other dance music." Mojo
"A revolutionary record." The Quietus
"Underworld didn't fulfil a niche, they created one." GQ
"Dance music's dirtiest epic." Uncut
“Twenty years on, it still sounds magnificent.” The Guardian’s one album you should hear this week
“dubnobasswithmyheadman changed the idea of what electronic music could be – lyrical, personal, introspective and human.” Time Out
"Songwriting of a depth rare in dance music." Record Collector
“Still properly electrifying.” The Observer
“Pure musical ecstasy.” Morning Star