Team­time Dub En­coun­ters (Caro­line) AL­BUM OF THE WEEK

Irish Independent - Weekend Review - - CULTURE -

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.

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