Underworld: Bruce Lee

From the album Beaucoup Fish (1999)

Life, kid, suck, drink from the box, the juice kicks up.


bruce lee.

High energy and repetitive, Bruce Lee basically sounds like it was recorded on a manufacturing line. With one verse repeated again and again, Underworld performs an exercise in rhythm and variations on a theme.

Using brute force, this thing will pound its way into your head, but for a form of House music, strangely you won’t feel like dancing. So just sit back and let your brain take a beating.

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What I love: That cold, industrialized beat.

Bonus Separated at Birth entry

I’ve been listening to this song for roughly eight years now, but it wasn’t until I posted the above that I noticed that the beat I’m so fond of bears a striking resemblance to Michael Jackson’s Speed Demon from Bad (1987).

Once you’ve listened to Bruce Lee, check out this sample and then tell me it doesn’t sound a little “inspired by.”

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Wherein I ponder all the music I could listen to in my lifetime

I did some thinking today about my library and listening to music in general. I’m 27; given the average American life expectancy, I’ve got another 50 years in me. If the size of my iTunes library remains constant (big if), I could expect to listen to every song in it a maximum of 429 times, if i were to listen to each song an equal number of times. However, that would require listening for 24 hours a day for the next 18,000+ days, so that is really not a practical measurement.

Given that on days when I’m really trying hard to listen to as much music as possible, I only clock about 3 hours of listening, it brings the number of listens down to 53 per song, roughly enough time to play each song only once per year, That’s all the more reason to clear out the less-than-stellar songs and albums from my collection, because I know I’ve got music i want to hear more than once per year.

meanwhile, here’s today’s tracks.

  • broken social scene [bee hives]
  • uakti [aguas de amazonia]
  • nautilis [are you an axolotl]
  • mouse on mars [cache coeur naif]
  • counting crows [august and everything after]
  • underworld [beaucoup fish]

No laughing at the Counting Crows. I’ve only got a handful of tracks from their first album (from before they tanked) and I don’t care what anyone says, Omaha is a damn impressive song; it’s their best. •

Honestly, today was a great day for music. Underworld’s Beaucoup Fish is a masterpiece of progressive house music that relies more on songcraft than thumping beats–though their are plenty–to create some compellingly danceable music that’s not just for dancing. It’s enjoyable as music in its own right. I’ve had the album for more than six years and it has consistently been among my favorites. It’s surprising to me that the group’s others albums haven’t broken through the clutter in my library. •

Mouse on Mars teams up with Stereolab on the Cache Coeur Naif ep. Two powerhouses of the upper echelon of indie-dom combine to create… a rather run-of-the-mill couple of tracks. It’s good; don’t get me wrong, just not very compelling. I think it suffers from “too much expectation” syndrome. •

Lastly, I was totally prepared to weed the Uakti album. Despite the fact that it’s a collaboration with Philip Glass (or perhaps because of), I was ready to write it off as a superfluous acquisition from a more experimental time in my listening habits. But it appears my perceptions of it had become corrupted over time (it had been quite a while since i last heard it). Aguas de Amazonia’s unique percussive style really makes this album a fascinating listen. Then again, I’ve always been a sucker for percussion, which is funny, ’cause Ican’t dance. at all.