Drift (Underworld project)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Underworld Drift cover.jpg
Original cover for the collective Drift playlist featured on music streaming platforms
Recording by
ReleasedNovember 1, 2018 (2018-11-01) onwards
Recorded2018 onwards
LengthEpisode 1: 30:33
Episode 2: 85:14
Episode 3: 43:59
Episode 4: 38:10
Episode 5: 44:34
Manchester Street Poem: 64:50
LabelSmith Hyde Productions
Simon Taylor
ProducerRick Smith
Underworld chronology
Teatime Dub Encounters
Drift Series 1
Singles from Drift
  1. "Drift Episode 1 — Dust"
    Released: December 6, 2018 (2018-12-06)
  2. "Drift Episode 2 — Atom"
    Released: March 7, 2019 (2019-03-07)
  3. "Drift Episode 3 — Heart"
    Released: May 2, 2019 (2019-05-02)
  4. "Drift Episode 4 — Space"
    Released: July 4, 2019 (2019-07-04)
  5. "Drift Episode 5 — Game"
    Released: September 19, 2019 (2019-09-19)

Drift is the ongoing music-and-video experiment by the British electronic music group Underworld, launched on November 1, 2018,[1][2] with consecutive tracks and music videos being released online, on a weekly basis.[3] Individual new tracks of Drift are being made available through the band's official website, as time-limited free downloads, along with accompanying YouTube videos, followed by collective Drift "episodes" released as digital EPs on music streaming platforms. It's Underworld's second digital distribution project, after the 2005–2006 series Riverrun. Throughout five Drift Episodes, 38 new tracks have been released so far.[4]

Underworld planned to conclude Drift after its 52-week run with a collective album, but decided to continue the project for another year.[5] Drift Series 1, featuring additional unreleased tracks, is to be released on November 1, 2019, as a 7-CD, 1 Blu-ray box set, along with a single-disc Drift Series 1 Sampler Edition.[6][7]


Drift has its roots in earlier online Underworld projects, including the archive music released freely through underworldlive.com starting in 2000[8], the Riverrun project in 2005, and the band's live webcasts from 2004-2008. In April and June of 2018, Underworld released by surprise the first post-Barbara Barbara tracks "Brilliant Yes That Would Be"[9] and an unfinished version of "Appleshine,"[10] each with a video directed by Simon Taylor, foreshadowing the Drift project.

Karl Hyde and Rick Smith's aim was to release new and previously unreleased music, film, and written stories throughout a full year, on a weekly basis, every Thursday, "and see where the journey took them."[5] They admitted that the episodic idea for the project "grew out of boredom,"[11] jokingly adding later in the project it was "a foolhardy promise made in public."[12] The duo wanted to disrupt the single-album-tour cycle, which for them repeats every three years, by letting themselves to create instinctively and responsively. "You want every day to be a challenge, particularly when it comes to making music.” Although the scale of Drift turned out to be “the most inspiring process that we’ve ever engaged in.”[13] "Whether it’s good or bad, we’ll record with more honesty in this one year than we have in the previous fifteen. (...) I mean, come on! We’ve got to try that.”[11]

The duo initiated Drift having been inspired by a conversation with the band's lighting designer Haydn Cruickshank, who is a drift racer. The project's name also references the movie series The Fast And The Furious, particularly one of its sequels Tokyo Drift[12] (however, the theme of the drifting motorsport was present featured earlier, in the 2010 video for "Scribble"). Drift's first video to "Another Silent Way" features racing at the Rockingham Motor Speedway.[14]

The majority of Drift music videos was directed by Underworld’s art director Simon Taylor, of the band's own design-and-film collective Tomato, shot "from Shibuya Crossing to the Moroccan desert to rural Essex."[5] At times, the videos are said to be delivered twenty four hours before they go live.[12] Other contributions to the project include works of playwrights, DJs, painters, and poets. The first trailer for the project's Episode 1 was published on October 25, 2018.[15] The Episode 1 EP opens with an edited version of "Brilliant Yes That Would Be."

So far, compositions of Drift feature collaborations with the Australian experimental jazz band The Necks, London producer Ø [Phase] aka Ashley Burchett, actor Matthew Trevannion, members of Black Country, New Road (including Georgia Ellery, Lewis Evans, and Karl Hyde's daughter Tyler Hyde), as well as Ichirou Agata of the Japanese noise rock band Melt-Banana.

Thursdays between Episodes, Underworld publishes new remixes of previously released songs, live rehearsal recordings, DJ mixes of released and unreleased material, and other items from the band's archives.

The Guardian “socialist banger”[edit]

On May 21, 2019, Underworld released a new version of the track "Soniamode", originally featured on February's Episode 2 — Atom. Now dubbed "Soniamode (Aditya Game Version)," it featured lyrics written by The Guardian columnist and economics commentator Aditya Chakrabortty. The band's publicist knew Chakrabortty's 2018 column series The Alternatives, "about how to make the economy work for everyone," asked him to email a list of inspirational people, ideas, and processes, for the band, and the list ended up as a chorus for the track.[11]

Drift Series 1[edit]

Drift Series 1
Underworld Drift Series 1 cover.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedNovember 1, 2019
LengthSampler Edition: 57:23
LabelSmith Hyde Productions
Caroline International
ProducerRick Smith
Underworld chronology
Drift Series 1

Drift Series 1, is the upcoming tenth studio album by the British electronic group Underworld, to be released on November 1, 2019. It is the conclusion of the band's year-long music-and-video experiment Drift.

The band planned to conclude the project after its 52-week run, posting on May 21, 2019 details about the new album Drift Songs, as a single-CD, double vinyl, and a 6-CD, 1-Blu-ray box set. But with the release of the last song of Episode 5, on September 12, 2019, Underworld announced the Drift project will continue on for another year. The now-renamed Drift Series 1, is to be released one year after the launch of the series, as a box set featuring 7 CDs, a Blu-ray, and an 80-page book documenting the creative process around Drift.[5] A single-disc Drift Series 1 Sampler Edition will also be released simultaneously.[6]

The full edition of Drift Series 1 will feature the expanded and enhanced selection of music, visuals and text pieces released throughout the series, and material the duo worked on but wasn't releasing before and during the Drift project.[7][12] It will be the band's first full-length release since 2016's album Barbara Barbara, We Face a Shining Future,[16] and the first physically released music since 2018’s collaborative EP with Iggy Pop, Teatime Dub Encounters.[17]

Manchester Street Poem Installation Score[edit]

In July 2017, Underworld recorded music for the live installation Manchester Street Poem at the Manchester International Festival. The project tells stories of people in Manchester who find themselves homeless.[18] On June 13, 2019, the complete score to the project was made available to download, with proceeds going toward the ongoing Manchester Street Poem project, dedicated to people who experienced homelessness.[19][20] The release was promoted by the track "Doris", which was released as part of Drift Episode 4 on the same day as the score.

Drift Live[edit]

Underworld will promote Drift with live performances in Bogotá on October 31, Mexico City on November 2, Antwerp on November 22, Amsterdam on November 23, and London on December 7, 2019.[21]

Track listing[edit]

The following is a chronological list of tracks released subsequently as digital Drift EPs. Track lengths adapted from music streaming platforms.


Episode 1 — Dust[edit]

No.TitleRelease dateLength
1."Intro (BYTWB)"April 5, 20180:30
2."Universe of Can When Back"November 22, 20186:05
3."Dexters Chalk" (featuring Ø [Phase])November 8, 20185:01
4."Another Silent Way"November 1, 20185:28
5."Low Between Zebras" (featuring Matthew Trevannion)November 15, 20182:57
6."A Very Silent Way" (featuring The Necks)November 29, 201810:32
Total length:30:33

Episode 2 — Atom[edit]

No.TitleRelease dateLength
1."Appleshine" (Film Edit)January 24, 20199:41
2."Molehill"January 31, 20195:35
3."Threat of Rain"February 7, 201914:51
4."Brussels"February 14, 20194:19
5."Soniamode"February 21, 20193:30
6."Appleshine Continuum" (featuring The Necks)February 28, 201947:18
Total length:85:14

Episode 3 — Heart[edit]

No.TitleRelease dateLength
1."Dune"March 28, 201910:32
2."Custard Speed Talk"April 4, 20199:43
3."This Must Be Drum Street"April 11, 20195:55
4."Pinetum"April 18, 201912:09
5."Poet Cat"April 25, 20195:40
Total length:43:59

Episode 4 — Space[edit]

No.TitleRelease dateLength
1."Listen to Their No"May 23, 20195:48
2."Schiphol Test"May 30, 20198:34
3."Hundred Weight Hammer"June 6, 20194:15
4."Doris"June 13, 20194:27
5."Altitude Dub"June 20, 20198:10
6."Border Country" (featuring Ø [Phase])June 27, 20196:56
Total length:38:10

Episode 5 — Game[edit]

No.TitleRelease dateLength
1."Toluca Stars"August 8, 201910:18
2."Mile Bush Pride"August 15, 20191:35
3."Imagine a Box"August 22, 20196:02
4."Tree and Two Chairs"August 29, 201913:32
5."Give Me The Room" (featuring Ø [Phase])September 5, 20199:25
6."S T A R"September 12, 20193:36
Total length:44:34

Drift Series 1 collective release[edit]

Details of the physical and digital release, which collects tracks from the Drift Episodes.[5] Available track lengths adapted from iTunes.[22]

Manchester Street Poem Installation Score[edit]

Total length:64:50

Archival tracks and mixes[edit]

The following is a chronological list of previously unreleased tracks, remixes, continuous mixes, and live rehearsal recordings, published so far on Thursdays between Drift Episodes.

No.TitleRelease dateLength
1."The Misterons WOUW Mix 13-12-18"December 13, 201836:06
2."Romford 1998 Live Rehearsal"December 20, 201837:09
3."Coming out of Texas" (Desert Demos & Workings)December 27, 201819:50
4."The Misterons Rowla/Cherry Jam"January 3, 20198:42
5."The Misterons WOUW" (‘La Bella Malinconia’ Mix)January 10, 201924:36
6."Twist" (Music Bank Jam Take 7)March 15, 201910:46
7."Are You Rockstar"March 21, 20194:55
8."Airtowel A2778" (Live Jam for Web December 2000)May 9, 201910:20
9."Pearl's Girl Jam 080624"May 16, 201925:59
10."Soniamode" (Aditya Game Version)May 21, 20196:23
11."230605" (2005 Riverrun-era rehearsal jam)July 11, 201918:01
12."ATL080328" (2008 live excerpt)July 18, 201922:44
13."Leipzig Warehouse Jam 050715"July 25, 201938:54
14."Biro the Leggy (Romford Dub)"September 26, 20199:43


  1. ^ "DRIFT series launched". Underworld. 2018-11-01. Retrieved 2019-04-19.
  2. ^ Underworld (2018-12-06), Underworld - DRIFT Episode 1 "Dust", retrieved 2019-04-19
  3. ^ "Underworld - #Drift - YouTube". YouTube. Retrieved 2019-04-19.
  4. ^ "DRIFT - An ongoing experiment by Underworld". Underworld. Retrieved 2019-04-27.
  5. ^ a b c d e "DRIFT Series 1 details". Underworld. 2019-09-11. Retrieved 2019-09-12.
  6. ^ a b "DRIFT Series 1 by Underworld, out Nov 2019". Underworld. Retrieved 2019-09-12.
  7. ^ a b Zemler, Emily (2019-09-12). "Underworld Preview 'DRIFT Series 1' With New Single 'S T A R'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2019-09-12.
  8. ^ "Internet Archive Wayback Machine".
  9. ^ Underworld (2018-04-05), Underworld - Brilliant Yes That Would Be, retrieved 2019-06-06
  10. ^ "Underworld - Apple Shine for Belfast". YouTube.
  11. ^ a b c Chakrabortty, Aditya (2019-05-21). "Born lippy: how I helped Underworld write a socialist banger". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2019-05-23.
  12. ^ a b c d Breuer, Holger (2019-06-16). "Interview: Underworld". Torture the Artist. Retrieved 2019-06-20.
  13. ^ ""The Most Inspiring Process That We've Ever Engaged In": Underworld On Crafting Their New Album & Their Vivid LIVE Shows". Music Feeds. 2019-05-30. Retrieved 2019-05-30.
  14. ^ Underworld (2018-11-01), Underworld - Another Silent Way (Film Edit) (#Drift, Ep 1, Pt. 1), retrieved 2019-06-20
  15. ^ Underworld (2018-10-25), Underworld - DRIFT - Episode 1 - Trailer, retrieved 2019-04-19
  16. ^ "Underworld announce new album, share single: Listen". DJMag.com. 2019-05-21. Retrieved 2019-05-23.
  17. ^ Peacock, Tim (2019-05-21). "Underworld Announce 'Drift Songs' Album, Major Headline Shows". uDiscoverMusic. Retrieved 2019-05-23.
  18. ^ "BBC Radio 6 Music - Underworld's Manchester Street Poem - 6 Music Mix". BBC. Retrieved 2019-06-14.
  19. ^ "DRIFT Episode 4". Underworld. Retrieved 2019-06-13.
  20. ^ "Manchester Street Poem". mcrstreetpoem.com. Retrieved 2019-06-14.
  21. ^ "DRIFT LIVE". Underworld. Retrieved 2019-06-06.
  22. ^ DRIFT Series 1 Sampler Edition by Underworld on iTunes, retrieved 2019-09-12

External links[edit]