Feb 10, 2012

Bleep Years day five: Underworld's Beautiful Burnout (2007)

Bleep Years is a series in which I stagger through two decades of musical memories, drunk-hugging single tracks that somehow represent entire years of my life. I love these tunes, man. No seriously, I reeeeally love these tunes, hic.

2007: Underworld's Beautiful Burnout

When Born Slippy stole the nation's heart and liver on the Trainspotting soundtrack, I'd already been into Underworld for ages. I didn't even consider it to be their best work. I know that makes me that annoying muso beardo who waffles on about people's *early* work, emphasising "early" as if it's some magical incantation designed for only bourgeois ears, but it's true. I own Underworld's Underneath The Radar on vinyl. Beat that, proles.

I feel I've lived alongside Underworld ever since, from dubnobasswithmyheadman's stark artwork, thrilling to Push Upstairs on MTV, and falling in love with them all over again with the Barking revival and even a David Lynch remix. So why have I, of all the tracks in their 24-year record-releasing career, chosen Beautiful Burnout from their overlooked 2007 album Oblivion With Bells?

I was in a mess at the end of 2006. I burst into tears for no reason, my self-esteem was on the floor and I wanted to hide in the shadows. Around about the time of me writing about ten places I wanted to see Autechre played, the future seemed confusing and scary.

2007 was the year I got things together again. I lost weight, I got a new job and, over time, started becoming the writer I'd always wanted to be. When the "bird, chrome" refrain descends into the frowning techno punches after the five minute mark on Beautiful Burnout, it reminds me of the new hope and energy I built for myself. Underworld have never released a more timely track.

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