Spanning their entire thirty career, the new collection of remixes from the legendary Underground Lovers is utterly sublime.
It goes without saying that the flesh of a remix is only as good as the bones it is built on, and with the Underground Lovers you are assured that the foundations are phenominal.
Many of the earlier tracks have been released before as B sides to CD singles, and these have been magically re-mastered to add a 2020s sparkle. Some tracks are remixes of singles arising after the 2012 Phoenix-like rebirth of the Undies a few years back and are unreleased. There is even a completely new unreleased track ‘All Them Racists Ghosts’ (lifting its title from a line in ‘Seven Day weekend’). We are even treated to a couple of remixes of the same track (and when they are classic tracks like ‘Your Eyes’ and ‘Losin’ It’, it serves to double the delight).
And in deed the album blasts off with the two remixes of ‘Your Eyes’ – what I consider to be one of the outstanding dance tracks of the nineties – ineffably cool and laconic with a bass line that has more lift-off force than a NASA rocket bound for space. The two remixes serve the song diligently – highlighting the sense of euphoria you cannot help but feel as the bass kicks in.
The remixes are done by a plethora of industry heavy weights and in every case treat the original material with utter respect. At their very heart, the Undies are a pop band – they wield melody and harmony with dexterity and skill, adding lyrics that are often imbued with humour and a dead pan delivery. The remixes sometimes introduce entirely new streams and layers, and as with any good remix, they can completely disassemble the song and create a brand new vibe (witness the EDM blast of ‘Starsigns’).
A ten minute remix of ‘Cold Feeling’ is transcendental – dreamy ambient beginnings that slowly introduces the iconic riff as a distant voice inside your head. It is a slow burning fuse that circles around, increasing the anticipation that builds and mesmerises.
Newer tracks are given a new sheen and architecure: ‘Seven Day Weekend’ muscular and brutal, ‘The Rerun’ ethereal and dreamy. All with an insistent and driving rhythm.
And after all, at their very heart, the Underground Lovers are also masters of electronic dance music. I’ve always claimed that this band were at the very forefront of the shoegaze movement, and worthy baton holders for bands such as The Cocteau Twins, New Order and The Cure.
‘Shadows’ is not an album purely for completists: it feels like a brand new refreshed shimmering and sparkling Underground Lovers seeking inspiration from the past to deliver a much need panacea for the present. An absolute joy.
‘Shadows’ is only available as a digital download through the link below. Just get it and all will be much, much better in the world.
‘Shadows’ features remixes by Robert Goodge (I’m Talking, Filthy Lucre, Essendon Airport), David Chesworth (Essendon Airport), Simon Polinski (ARIA award winning producer of The Church, Stephen Cummings, Yothu Yindi and Paul Kelly), Sonic Animation and 4AD/GUERNICA’s Ivo Watts-Russell and John Fryer. Full details are:
1. Your Eyes Extended Remix by David Chesworth and Robert Goodge. Engineered by Laurence Maddy and Simon Polinski (1993)
2. Your Eyes Scooby Remix by David Chesworth and Robert Goodge. Engineered by Laurence Maddy and Simon Polinski (1993)
3. I Was Right Extended Remix – Guernica/4AD Remix (1992) Ivo Watts-Russell and John Fryer
4. Losin it – Mr Futuristic’s Remix by Robert Goodge and Simon Polinski. Tracked and engineered by Robert Goodge (1994)
5. Losin it – Brunehilda Remix by Robert Goodge and Simon Polinski. Tracked and engineered by Robert Goodge (1994)
6. Rushall Station Radio Remix by Sonic Animation (1997)
7. Starsigns Sinewave Remix by Sonic Animation (1997)
8. Cold Feeling Extended Dub by GBVG and Tim Whitten (1999). Extended edit and additional production by Robert Goodge (2020)
9. Riding – Rider By My Side Remix by Robert Goodge. Engineered by Robert Goodge with Simon Polinski (2020)
10. The Rerun – Hesiusdome 12-Inch Remix by Simon Polinski (2018)
11. Unbearable – Unbearable Feeling Remix by Robert Goodge. Engineered by Robert Goodge with Simon Polinski (2020)
12. Seven Day Weekend – Weekender Remix by Robert Goodge. Engineered by Robert Goodge with Simon Polinski (2020)
13. All Them Racists Ghosts Extended Lockdown Remix by Robert Goodge. Engineered by Robert Goodge with Simon Polinski (2020)
14. All Them Racist Ghosts Extended Remix by Robert Goodge. Engineered by Robert Goodge with Simon Polinski (2020)