Teamtime Dub Encounters (Caroline) ALBUM OF THE WEEK
Twenty-two years after they appeared on that allconquering Trainspotting soundtrack, the British electronica duo and the great proto-punk visionary have joined forces for what’s billed as an EP, but feels like an album of four lengthy and hugely compelling tracks. In truth, it’s primarily an Underworld album, awash with their trademark atmospheric beats, but the songs are elevated thanks to the presence of Iggy Pop — a figure whose words have a primal power, whether sung or spoken. The percussive ‘Bells & Circles’ finds the original reckless rocker musing on the loss of personal freedoms, lamenting a time when it was possible to smoke on planes while ‘Trapped’ is a meditation on ageing — “no drug can help me now” — which in its delivery and sonic arrangements recalls Alan Vega and his influential band Suicide. Closer ‘Get Your Shirt’ is marvellous — featuring a driving beat, Iggy’s direct spoken-word delivery and lovely vocals from Esme Smith, daughter of Rob Smith, one half of Underworld. “It’s getting so much harder to be me,” Iggy notes in what could be a commentary about his place in the musical landscape today. But he has nothing to worry about: his legend was secured a long time ago. This collaboration suggests he’s still got a lot to offer. 71? It’s just a number.