20 Songs, 1 Hour 7 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

At 20 tracks and qualifying as a double LP, Underworld is a true comeback for alternative rock’s finest jazz-type band. Released six years after their previous album, Underworld flirts with a number of instrumental genres, including a classic jazz sound on “Enchantment” that does away with the steady rock drumming and other modern inventions heard on the next track, “Descension.” Produced by drummer/founder Barrett Martin (Mad Season/Screaming Trees/Walking Papers) and mixed by Jack Endino (Nirvana, Soundgarden), the album features Martin, Luna’s Justin Hardwood, and tenor sax legend Skerik, with appearances from R.E.M.'s Peter Buck, Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready, Gnarls Barkley bassist Cedric LeMoyne, and electronic sequences from New York’s DJ Megman. The group’s flexible lineup matches their varieties of sound, which make them a difficult band to describe or to market. Generally, one must trust the musicians involved to make smart decisions with the material at hand. Underworld maintains the integrity of Tuatara’s previous releases and remains true to the group’s eclecticism. 

EDITORS’ NOTES

At 20 tracks and qualifying as a double LP, Underworld is a true comeback for alternative rock’s finest jazz-type band. Released six years after their previous album, Underworld flirts with a number of instrumental genres, including a classic jazz sound on “Enchantment” that does away with the steady rock drumming and other modern inventions heard on the next track, “Descension.” Produced by drummer/founder Barrett Martin (Mad Season/Screaming Trees/Walking Papers) and mixed by Jack Endino (Nirvana, Soundgarden), the album features Martin, Luna’s Justin Hardwood, and tenor sax legend Skerik, with appearances from R.E.M.'s Peter Buck, Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready, Gnarls Barkley bassist Cedric LeMoyne, and electronic sequences from New York’s DJ Megman. The group’s flexible lineup matches their varieties of sound, which make them a difficult band to describe or to market. Generally, one must trust the musicians involved to make smart decisions with the material at hand. Underworld maintains the integrity of Tuatara’s previous releases and remains true to the group’s eclecticism. 

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About Tuatara

Tuatara is one of the more surprising and slightly ridiculous supergroups in rock history. Comprised of Peter Buck (R.E.M.), Justin Harwood (Luna), Barrett Martin (Screaming Trees), and Skerik (Critters Buggin'), the quartet formed in 1996 to pursue music that their guitar-based alternative rock groups could not do -- namely, worldbeat, lounge-pop, and free jazz. After playing several concerts on the West Coast of the U.S. in the fall of 1996, Tuatara recorded their debut album, Breaking the Ethers, which was released in April 1997. Trading with the Enemy followed in 1998, and several songs from the album found their way into movie soundtracks. It would be four years until more recorded output from the band saw the light of day, but in spring 2002 the Cinemathique album found release on Fast Horse Records. More oriented toward lush and ethereal tones, the record was followed by a small U.S. tour. Two more albums on Fast Horse were issued, 2003's Loading Program and 2007's East of the Sun. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

GENRE
Rock
FORMED
1996

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