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Powerhouse electronic duo Underworld play the Sydney Opera House

February 23, 2017 Whats On No Comments Email Email

Electronic music powerhouse Underworld will bring decades of dancefloor to the Concert Hall when they make their Sydney Opera House debut on Tuesday 11 April 2017.

In the mid-90s, founders Karl Hyde and Rick Smith helped shatter the distinction between rock and electronica, with ‘Born Slippy (Nuxx)’ – the b-side that became the anthem of a generation via Danny Boyle’s cult classic Trainspotting – and the legendary dubnobasswithmyheadman.

A generation later, they scored the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics, following up with remastered and expanded editions of their classics and their first studio album in six years, Barbara Barbara, we face a shining future, which was nominated for a Grammy last year alongside the likes of Flume and the new wave of electronic music producers. In the ultimate nod to their legacy, 2017’s Trainspotting sequel revived their peak-time anthem, this time as ‘Slow Slippy’.

“In 2009 the Opera House closed the first Vivid LIVE (then called Luminous) with Karl Hyde, Brian Eno, The Necks, Jon Hopkins and Leo Abrahams collaborating on the colossal Pure Scenius series of performances,” says Ben Marshall, Head of Contemporary Music at Sydney Opera House. “And in Vivid LIVE 2013 we had the honour of presenting Karl Hyde’s rare, intimate solo performance. Now we are very proud to announce that 2017 is year the mighty Underworld finally take to the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall stage.

“A searing amalgam of overwhelming ambition, cerebral arrangements and visceral execution, Underworld’s 25-plus-year catalogue displays a consistent integrity and vision that towers over most of their peers. Having proved itself capable of doubling as a bassbin-slash-dancefloor of giant proportions for Disclosure , Caribou , Flying Lotus , Hot Chip and Four Tet, expect the Concert Hall to deliver an experience to remember the night Underworld take the stage.”

Through 25 years of shape-shifting line-ups and sounds – from Krautrock to trance and drum ‘n’ bass – the band has continued to find and define the edge. In 2002, Underworld returned as a duo with A Hundred Days Off, fit for the Ibizan summer, after which Hyde and Smith took a brief break from the club: sitting in for John Peel at the BBC, producing a four-hour performance for Sven Väth’s legendary Cocoon nightclub, and The RiverRun Project, a three-suite record available only as a download on their website.

Through it all, Underworld has continued to reign in the world of digital music they helped create, galvanizing the dancefloor down the generations. Now, thirty years after the band first formed, they will bring techno’s past and future to the majestic Sydney Opera House.

Live Performances

Sydney Opera House Contemporary Music
This performance is part of the contemporary music program presented by Sydney Opera House, which includes Kasabian, Conor Oberst, Warpaint, Andrew Bird, James Vincent McMorrow, Explosions in the Sky, The Stone Roses, Mary J. Blige, Brian Wilson, Four Tet, D’Angelo, Tame Impala, Hot Chip and the annual Vivid LIVE festival, which has featured Bon Iver presents ‘Cercle’, New Order + ACO, Anohni, Max Richter’s ‘Sleep’ and more. Visit for further information.

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