Underworld & Iggy Pop

Teatime Dub Encounters

Tuesday 10th July 2018

Photo by Rob Baker Ashton

It is an often forgotten fact that two of the biggest songs of the Britpop era were nothing to do with Blur, Oasis, Pulp or Suede, but were, in fact, a banging eight and a half minute techno track named after a greyhound and a song recorded by an American in Berlin's Hansa studio in 1977.

The songs in question are obviously, Underworld's 'Born Slippy .NUXX' and Iggy Pop's 'Lust For Life' which both exploded into the collective consciousness of 1996 thanks to their inclusion in Danny Boyle's 'Trainspotting' soundtrack.

When Underworld's Rick Smith was tasked with overseeing soundtracking of 'Trainspotting 2', which included the Prodigy's remix of 'Lust For Life', he took advantage of the opportunity to approach Iggy Pop with the suggestion of a completely separate artistic project bringing Underworld and Iggy together. 

Rick Smith explains “Iggy was staying at The Savoy and graciously said 'yeah you know we can meet and talk about something' because we both felt a strong connection to Trainspotting and to Danny. I turned up thinking I've got one chance here to convince this gentleman that we should work together. So I turned up with basically half my studio, hired a hotel room, set up and sat waiting".

Thankfully Iggy Pop agreed to the hotel room recording sessions, stating “When you are confronted with somebody who has a whole bloody studio there in the hotel room, a Skyped director who has won the Oscar recently and a fucking microphone in front of you and 30 finished pieces of very polished music, you don't want to be the wimp that goes 'uh uhhh', so my mind was racing".

'Teatime Dub Encounters' is the resulting four-track EP, includes the 'Bells & Circles', with its cautionary tale of rock n' roll excess and air travel set against Underworld's signature grown-up techno, and the more reflective 'I'll See Big'. The latter track is an understated piece which features a recording of Iggy Pop giving an account of the influence his friendships have had on his decisions over the decades, reportedly inspired by a conversation he had with Trainspotting director Danny Boyle.

'Teatime Dub Encounters' will be released 27th July (2018).

Listen to our Subculture playlist with Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh here.

Read our feature on the Trainspotting soundtracks here.

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